“The awkward proposal portrays politicians as drug addicts who must be certified by the agency as fit to run for various elective offices. It is reprehensible and unacceptable,” – Yabagi Sani
The Intra Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has rejected a proposal that political parties should make drug integrity tests part of their selection requirements for candidates seeking elective office in the 2023 general election.
This was said by the national president of IPAC, Yabagi Sani, in a statement.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had proposed that political parties should drug test all candidates seeking to run for political office on their platforms.
Sani described the proposal as an “outrageous, outlandish, ridiculous, despicable and deliberate attack” on the sensibilities of democracy-loving Nigerians.
“The awkward proposal portrays politicians as drug addicts who must be certified by the agency as fit to run for various elective offices. It is reprehensible and unacceptable,” he said.
Mr. Sani demanded an apology from NDLEA. He advised the drug enforcement agency to desist from impugning the character and integrity of politicians, including those running for president who are patriotic and highly respected.
“It’s about time we started showing consideration for the nation’s political leaders like you can get in other democracies.
“It is obvious that the activities of the political parties are guided by the amended 1999 Constitution, the 2022 Electoral Law, the INEC guidelines/regulations and the guidelines of the respective parties.
“There is no justification whatsoever for the extra-constitutional requirements proposed by the NDLEA.
“This is the position of the Supreme Court before the controversial general elections of 2003, where it held that the INEC had no power to impose nomination fees on candidates who competed for elective positions outside the requirements established by the constitution.
“This is the clear position of the law and the position of IPAC for candidates for political office in the 2023 general election.”
Sani said the NDLEA proposal would not distract political parties.
He added that IPAC would continue to uphold democratic ideals, ethics and spirit as the parties jointly build a bigger, better and more prosperous democratic society.
“IPAC strongly condemns drug abuse by misguided citizens and urges the NDLEA to uphold its duties in conjunction with the law it establishes.