By Ibironke Ariyo
Abuja, July 16, 2020 The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbeshola has called on all security agencies in Nigeria to undergo drug tests to ensure only drug-free operatives bear arms.
Aregbeshola made the call during the flag-off ceremony of substance abuse test tagged, “The test begins with me” by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that that the test was important as NIS was an arms bearing agency that could not afford to have anybody under the influence of drugs constituting dangers to themselves and to the public.
According to him, there should be zero drug abuse in all security agencies as nothing could be more dangerous than to have an addict and a substance abuser holding gun.
“And of course, an abuser of drugs can not be in full control of his or her senses.
“To that extent, he is capable of endangering the lives of the citizens besides the dangers that the abusers is already exposed to, by himself and for himself.
“The test begins with me initiative, is commendable and a welcome development that would help all our security agencies free from drug abuse.
“I therefore, recommend this initiative to all security agencies in Nigeria, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and generally to the public.
“Let us all employers of labour outside government emulate the immigration service and embark on drug integrity test.
“When we all do this, we would have laid a gap of sensitisation and enforcement of the fact to have a drug free society which is compulsory for a sane order and a sane society, ” he said..
Aregbeshola said that the essence of the flag-off was to ensure that all security agencies should be able to beat their chests and tell the whole world that the agencies have drug free operatives in the service.
According to him, this is not to prosecute anybody.
“We are here to ensure that officers represent Nigeria appropriately.
“This is necessary for personnel to be competent and ready for their services and that their personality profile fit the responsibility we assigned them.
“The drug integrity test is compulsory and a must and that is why everyone must undergo the test . The defender must not be defenseless.
“We support rehabilitation and thanks to our Partners, the NDLEA, who have assured us of their support towards rehabilitation of officers that test positive to drug and substance abuse, ” he said
The Minister called on Comptrollers of immigration across the country to ensure that the drug tests was carried out efficiently, effectively and properly.
The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede noted that the service would henceforth, subject the cadet officers and recruits to substance abuse tests before they conclude the recruitment process and sent for basic training.
Babandede added that anyone who tested positive during recruitment would immediately be dropped, adding that nobody that was a drug abuser would be taken into the service.
“I wish to inform everyone here present that to drive the process and show that the test begins with me, I, the Comptroller General will be the first to take this test today.
“Afterwards, priority will be given to our personnel who bear arms and constantly interface with our esteemed public, ” he said.
By Ibironke Ariyo