19th August, 2022
By Ibironke Ariyo
The Ona of Abaji in the FCT, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa has directed the immediate implementation of drug integrity tests for couples in his domain before marriage.
A statement by the Director, Media, and Advocacy, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mr. Femi Babafemi, said Yunusa gave the directive when he received NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, on Friday.
Marwa was on an advocacy visit to the palace on the NDLEA’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA).
The Ona of Abaji, who is the Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council of Chiefs, directed the Chief Imam of Abaji and other religious leaders to commence immediate implementation of the directive.
He said that the intending couples would be presented with a certificate of fitness before marriage.
The Ona noted that before Marwa’s assumption of office, the drug menace in Nigeria had become a huge problem, “ravaging” many young men and women, including couples.
He promised to promote the drug integrity test advocacy of the agency, in addition to other ongoing drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.
“Your coming on board as the head of NDLEA has brought some succor.
“We will do our best to ensure that drug integrity tests are carried out on intending couples before certificates are issued to them,” he added.
The NDLEA boss was also conferred with the traditional title of Santuraki of Abaji Kingdom.
Earlier, Marwa congratulated the traditional ruler on his 25th anniversary on the throne and his upholding of the tradition and culture of his kingdom.
He commended the royal father for his unflinching support of the NDLEA and fight against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.
The NDLEA chairman urged the traditional ruler to ensure that drug tests were carried out on intending couples.
“Due to increasing cases of women suffering from domestic violence fuelled by drug abuse by their husbands and vice versa, we appeal we embrace drug test for intending couples.
“This will be the same way they do HIV/AIDS and genotype tests even though there are no laws making that compulsory.
“This is why we say both husband and wife should also show drug-free certificate before being joined.
“And if any of them tests positive, he or she can be taken for treatment before the wedding is done to avoid unpleasant incidents that we see in recent times”, he said.
Marwa said the traditional institution was a very important stakeholder in the fight against illicit drugs.
“It is for this reason, we would like to appeal to His Royal Highness who already has been in the forefront of tackling drug abuse to continue.
“We want you to intensify these efforts to set up a WADA committee in Abaji kingdom.
“In the small communities, you all know those selling drugs and those families and youths that need help”, he said.