The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Commander in Kano State, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul said the screening of the candidates for the positions of Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Councillors was in compliance with the State Government’s order to ensure that no drug addict would be elected into any public office.
Ahead of the January 16 local government polls in Kano State, the State’s Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) on Wednesday said it disqualified six candidates over their failure to pass its drug test.
Daily Trust reports that KAINSEC said it introduced the compulsory drug test for all candidates vying for Chairmanship and Councillorship positions in the forthcoming Local Government elections because of the prevalence of drug abuse in the state.
The Chairman of the commission, Professor Garba Ibrahim Sheka, who confirmed this while speaking to Daily Trust on his Commission’s preparations for the election, said they have detected six drug addicts among the candidates.
He said, “After the compulsory drug test run by National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on on all the candidates vying for the 44 Chairmen and 484 Councillors, six candidates have been confirmed drug addicts and were disqualified from the race.
“All the confirmed addicts were contesting for councillorship slots. None is going for chairmanship.
“Their parties are lucky to have this week as a window period for them to substitute their replacements as we won’t allow any of them to contest,” Sheka said.
The KANSIEC chairman said they have introduced the compulsory test to make sure none of the newly elected leaders is addicted to drugs thereby reducing drug abuse in the state.
Prof. Sheka said they are optimistic the policy will serve as a deterrent to youths who are into drug abuse and have future political ambition to shun from the habit for fear of being disqualified.
However, sources in NDLEA reportedly said 20 candidates, not six as alleged by KANSIEC, have so far been confirmed drug addicts among the candidates, including some candidates from the ruling All Progressives Candidates (APC).