Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has called on all political parties to ensure that all their candidates undergo drug integrity and health fitness tests ahead of the flag-off of campaigns for the 2023 general elections in September.
The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, demanded that “the results of both tests be made public as part of efforts towards ending increasing terrorism and medical tourism by elected public officials.”
The CNPP said that it had backed the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on its proposal in April, 2022 for drug testing to be included in screening process for aspirants seeking elective offices.
“The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had written to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), urging the party to include drug test as part of its screening of aspirants on their platforms.
“The chairman of the agency, Buba Marwa has disclosed that the NDLEA wrote to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), urging the party to include drug test as part of its screening of aspirants on their platforms.
“Probably, the NDLEA felt that as the ruling party, the APC should be bold enough to set a precedent in fight against substance abuse. But, why such an innovative idea and noble suggestion by an agency which is responsible for combating illicit drugs was turned down is what beats the imagination of responsible citizens.
“While the National Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yabayi Sani, rejected the proposal by the NDLEA, saying that “the awkward proposal portrays politicians as drug addicts who must be certified fit to run for various elective offices by the agency”, but that perception is what makes it expedient to carry out the test and erase the stigma once and for all.
“We therefore reiterate the CNPP’s support for drugs and medical fitness tests for all aspirants and candidates seeking to be elected by Nigerians.
“It should be legalised, even as we call on all political parties to cause their respective candidates to undergo medical examinations and drug integrity tests before the campaigns in September.
“We equally demand that the test results be made public as a commitment by political parties to the ongoing war against insecurity and to check medical tourism by elected public office holders in the country”, the CNPP demanded.