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IPAC rejects drug test proposal for aspirants

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
01 May 2022   |   3:03 am
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has rejected the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) proposal to political parties for mandatory drug integrity test as part of the screening requirements for aspirants seeking...

Yusuf Yabagi Sani

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has rejected the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) proposal to political parties for mandatory drug integrity test as part of the screening requirements for aspirants seeking to contest political offices in the 2023 general election.

IPAC said the move is an outrageous, despicable and deliberate attack on the sensibilities of lovers of democratic governance in Nigeria. In a statement by its National Chairman, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani, IPAC said the awkward proposal portrays politicians as drug addicts who must be certified fit to run for various elective offices by the agency, describing the proposal as reprehensible and unacceptable. 

Sani also demanded an apology from NDLEA, warning the anti-narcotic agency to desist from impugning on the character and integrity of politicians, including those contesting for president who are patriotic, highly respected, well accomplished statesmen and women with proven integrity.

He said: “It is amazing that Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd) who lacks the audacity to make similar proposal to the country’s armed forces that have on several occasions “accidentally bombed” civilian settlements, killing innocent citizens including children in the course of military operations to get rid of terrorists, insurgents, militants and bandits should target politicians who are working assiduously along with fellow compatriots to build a strong, virile, united, progressive, egalitarian and decent democratic nation. It is high time we began to show regard for the nation’s political leaders as obtainable in other democracies.

“IPAC strongly condemns drug abuse by misguided citizens and urges NDLEA to discharge its duties in tandem with the law establishing it. A nation is governed by the rule of law, not by impunity.

“It is obvious that political parties’ activities are guided by the 1999 constitution as amended, the Electoral Act 2022, INEC guidelines/regulations and respective parties’ guidelines. There is no justification whatsoever for extra constitutional requirements as proposed by the NDLEA boss.” 

“This is the position of the Supreme Court ahead of the contentious 2003 general election where it held that INEC had no power to impose nomination fees on aspirants vying for elective offices outside the requirements provided by the constitution. This is the clear position of the law and the position of IPAC for aspirants seeking political offices in the 2023 general election.
Political parties will not be distracted by this absurdity. 

“IPAC will continue to uphold democratic ideals ethics and ethos as we jointly build a better, greater and prosperous democratic society.”

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