THE Provost of the National Defence College, Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, Adam Ahmed, has backed the call for drug tests for all public office holders in the country.
Ahmed made his position known while answering questions from journalists at the 6th Annual Ramadan lecture series and prayer for the nation, organised by the Ashraaf Islamic Foundation, on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture was: ‘Drug Abuse, Criminality and Insecurity in Nigeria: Toward a Collective Solution’.
He said: “Some political appointees and elected persons when they behave you will know clearly that they are high on drugs. And the same thing some technocrats and some security personnel, so it is widespread.”
Ahmed, who was the chairman of the occasion, said in Malaysia, the Philippines and some South American countries, politicians were tested before they were given power.
He added: “Not just that every person that is holding power including the military, security people are tested before they are given a very serious responsibility.
“Because leaders have a way of influencing followers. If they are known to misuse drugs, the tendency is that those that are behind them will also be involved.
“So, that is why I believe strongly that no one should be given any serious responsibility until the person is tested for drugs.”
Ahmed called on those that were responsible for drug legislation and administration of anti-drug use to be more proactive in tackling the incidences of drug abuse in the country.
He also emphasised the need for the government to identify various groups like the Ashraaf Islamic Foundation to spearhead the campaign against drug abuse in the country.
Ahmed said: “Drug abuse in Nigeria and misuse of drugs by the people are worst than any kind of crime that we think.
“Because the bulk of the crime that is committed in this country can be traced to drug abuse or misuse of drugs, be it political, criminal, security even at home, social, economic, all can be linked to drug abuse.
“I think in the beginning, we never took the fight against drug abuse serious in this country.
“Yes, during the military, there were draconian laws which fortunately some people had even called such laws should be returned where drug pushers were killed.
“But then after that, we went through a period where everything goes as far as drug is concerned in this country.”
According to him, the menace has almost engulfed all sectors, adding, “including all functionality of the society. So, it is a really sad situation.”
He, however, commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other relevant agencies for their efforts in curtailing the menace of drug abuse in the country.
Earlier, the founder of the foundation, Sharafudeen Aliagan, said the objective of the event was to find a lasting solution to the rampant effects of drug abuse in society.
He said: “We have a lot of professionals, we have lots of academicians and many people who really know what is going on in the society.
“We put heads together having discovered what the menace of drug abuse is and it’s rampant in the society.
“Drug abuse, criminality, insecurity we know that is exactly what is affecting us in the country, as we speak that is our major problem.
“So, we feel that current affairs is very important that we discuss all our programmes.
“And when we discussed this and we are able to bring out the report to the government and the generality of Nigerians, there will be some high level of solutions to this menace.”
According to Mr Aliagan, the foundation invited Muslims and non-Muslim professionals and academicians to brainstorm to find a lasting solution to the menace.
He said: “Because, those who are into kidnapping, insurgency and rubbery must have taken one of these intoxicants which help them to perpetrated their evil acts.”
Also, Amina Bukola, the women leader of the Nasrul-Lahi-il Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), described the theme of the lecture as very topical and timely. (NAN)