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Should public officials be subjected to drug tests?

During a recent Senate roundtable on Drug Abuse Epidemic in Nigeria held in Kano, the Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, called for a law to subject all public officials including lawmakers, governors, religious and traditional rulers to undergo drug tests. Daily Trust interviewed some Nigerians on what they think about the suggestion.

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Hafsah Abubakar Matazu

Kabeer Abdallah, 24, Civil Servant, Lagos

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It’s very paramount for public officials to undergo drug tests at certain intervals. At least, it should be done twice every year to make sure they are drug free while rendering service to the public. In my opinion, I think the government should enact a law that will ensure that every government agency must conduct tests on its officials considering the effects of drug abuse in our modern society.

 

 

Adesida Victor Abiodun, 35, Banker, Osun

Yes, we should be able to be certain that those entrusted with public office are not addicts and they are emotionally stable. Many make cloudy judgments that affect million of Nigerians as a result of drug abuse. Political office holders, senior career officers in the Civil Service, military personnel and paramilitary agencies should be tested frequently. He who comes into equity must come with clean hand.

 

 

Icha Paul Yakubu, 31, Admin Officer, Minna

It’s not wise to say that public officials should go for drug tests simply because they are entrusted with the mandate of honesty and integrity. Subjecting them to drug tests seems like a way to question their integrity.

 

Zainab Abdullahi, 

 

27, Student, Minna

We are entitled to know about the actions of our elected officials. Holders of public office and those elected to power should set examples by demonstrating that they do not break the law. We have a right to hold our leaders accountable and if they are breaking the laws, the public should know about it.

 

Yazid Abubakr Abukur, 

 

29, Engineer, Kaduna

I suggest that ministers, governors, traditional rulers and officials should go for drug tests because when youths understand that they cannot be governors, ministers or senators if they are drug addicts, they will behave well. The country is facing a great danger because of the fight against drug abuse. It has to be taken seriously if we are to succeed. I suggest the establishment of modern rehabilitation centres for victims of drug abuse in each geo-political zone of the country and when established, the centres should be equipped with necessary facilities and personnel to take care of victims of drug abuse.

 

 

Eruaga Abdulazeez Ahmed, 33, Civil Servant, Benin

Yes, if they don’t violate the provision of the law and are required to take drug test, why not? But it’s not a common practice for public officials since it’s not a part of the civil/public service rules. But nonetheless, it will do the society a lot of good.

 

Usman Ahmad Auwal, 

 

26, Chemical Engineer, Abuja

I  am 100 per cent in support of the idea that public officials should undergo drug tests. It has a lot of advantages and I have many reasons to defend this opinion. In this country, you’d see a public figure involved in corruption allegations involving millions of dollars, and the first thing that would come to your mind is, ‘Is this man sensible at all?’ This is money meant to save millions of souls, but a single person would decide to just hide it for no reason. I don’t think a person in their right mind would do such a thing. There is a possibility that they are under the influence of certain drugs. Secondly, if a public figure could undergo drug test, it shows the country’s readiness to fight drug abuse. It as well shows that nobody is above any law. Lastly, the youth who are recently clamouring for position using the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ platform would be very cautious of any drug related activity. This will minimize the rate of drug abuse cases involving our youths and having them ready to be the good future public officials we need.

 

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