The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has proposed drug tests for both new and returning students as part of measures to reduce drug use in the University of Abuja.
The Chiarman, NDLEA, rtd Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa said this during the inauguration of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) Drug Free University Campaign on Wednesday in Abuja.
Marwa said that the Drug Integrity Test was anticipated to metamorphose into an anti-drug policy for all higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.
He said that it was expected that the University of Abuja, being the “University of National Unity”, would be the first public university in Nigeria to adopt the Drug Integrity Test for fresh and returning students of the institution.
Marwa said that the theme, “Drug-Free University and Tertiary Institutions,” was apt and timely as there was no better time than now to combat the drug challenge in the university community and among students.
According to him, the Drug Integrity Test is not a punitive measure, rather it is an early detection tool to ascertain an individual’s drug use status for appropriate intervention, and timely treatment and care.
“This will also entail that the university will develop a drug policy and make such available to each student.
“Equally important is the need to create an NDLEA outpost on the campus where we’ll deploy our men to assist the authorities, detect drug dealers and users within the university, ” he said.
Marwa said that the menace of drug use was of worrisome dimension, adding that this was even as government had put in place measures in line with international conventions to counter this growing challenge among our youths.
He added that the abuse and trafficking of drugs was a global problem and Nigeria couldn’t have been insulated from this scourge.
Marwa said It was commendable to know that the University of Abuja has a functional Counselling and Career Services Centre which attended to the psychological and emotional needs of the students including those struggling with drug addiction.
“There is a need to give necessary support and care to those who are already hooked on drugs to get out of the habit.
“As such, I would recommend the establishment of Counselling (and Career Services) Centres in all universities which are yet to establish such, ” he said.
The NDLEA boss charged the students in the spirit of true patriotism to desire and work towards a country devoid of drugs and its attendant consequences.
Speaking, the vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’allah reiterated the university’s commitment to support NDLEA in ridding the campus of drug abuse.
Na’allah, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Abubakar Sadiq said that the war against drug abuse was a war for all to fight.
He assured that the university management would give Special attention to the newly inaugurated drug free club and ensure the menace was curbed.
The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu said that the university collaboration with NDLEA on drug war would yield tremendous result.
Adamu represented by a Director, Ministry of education, stressed the nexus between crime and drug abuse adding that creating a drug free society requires a positive attitude.
The Minister urged the students to be poised and ready for action saying that it was no longer “a fight but war against drug abuse.”