Buba Marwa, the chairman of Nigerian drugs enforcement office NDLEA, has said young Nigerians would soon be required to certify themselves free from illicit drugs before they could get married.
Mr Marwa says parents will be asked to list drug-free documents as part of requirements for approving their children’s marriage.
Mr Marwa made the disclosure on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti at a colloquium tagged: “Walk Away from Drugs’’, a programme organised by Ekiti Ministry of Justice He described the menace of drug use in the country as “worrisome’’.
“In Nigeria today, there is no challenge that is more worrisome than drug abuse.
“For instance, insurgency, kidnapping and banditry are seen as peculiar to certain parts of the country, but drug abuse has no boundary or respect for ethnicity or religion.
“The menace is so worrisome that within the last two months, more than N60 billion worth of illicit drugs have been seized and perpetrators arrested and prosecuted.
“If access to drugs is prevented, criminality can be reduced by 50 per cent,’’ Marwa said. He called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to campaign against the use of illicit drugs,” Mr Marwa said.
The anti-drug agency boss suggested that parents should from now include drug certificates as part of criteria to give their daughters and sons hands in marriage.
“This will be the beginning in reducing drug usage and its prevailing economic effects on the nation,’’ he said.
Declaring open the event, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi restated the commitment of his administration at reducing drug abuse. Mr Fayemi, who was represented by his deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi, urged participants to take the deliberation seriously and to evolve implementable plans to rid the society of the menace.
In his address of welcome, Ekiti State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapounda, said that the programme was organised because of alarming cases of drugs-induced criminality in the society.
“In most cases prosecuted by the ministry, investigations showed crime perpetrators were under the influence of drugs,’’ he said.
In attendance at the programme were representatives of traditional rulers, Ekiti State commandant of the NDLEA, Gaura Shedow, representatives of road transport workers, market women and youths, among others.