The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has shed light on the “drug integrity test” for intending couples.
The Head of Public Affairs, NDLEA, Jonah Achema in a statement on Saturday in Abuja said that what the agency proposed was totally different from what was reported.
Mr Achema said that the clarification became necessary following the report circulating on the media that the agency was to conduct drug tests for ladies before marriage.
NAN gathered that a report had been circulating on social media by an online publication that the NDLEA would conduct a drug integrity test for ladies before marriage.
According to Achema, the attention of the NDLEA has been drawn to the barrage of reactions to a report by an online publication.
“This in which was wrongly credited to the Chairman, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (Rtd) on proposed drug integrity test for intending couples by a religious organisation.
“The report mischievous headline is that NDLEA is to test ladies for drugs before marriage. Whereas in the body of the report, there was no place NDLEA chairman was quoted as saying so.
“For the avoidance of doubt, what the chairman said was that as an extension of drug integrity test policy in public service, NDLEA is also considering partnering with the religious leaders.
“This consideration is to make drug test prerequisites for marriage in churches and mosques as in the case of HIV/AIDs and Genotype tests, ” he said.
“It, therefore, smacks of cheap chauvinism of one to manipulate statement meant for intending couples to mean ladies as if ladies is a generic term for the marriage institution or intending couple.
Mr Achema said that the propriety of targeting the family of effective drug control was not debatable adding that most drug problems complicate the family institution, leading to broken homes and poor parenting.
He said that it was the dutiful thinking of NDLEA to involve religious organizations to persuasively engage intending couples to ascertain their drug use status.
This he said was considered so as to seek help where necessary before marriage in order to promote public health within the context of agency’s drug preventive strategy.
“Making it a women affair is trivializing the issue and trying to engender discrimination which is far from the intention of the gender-friendly NDLEA.