Ekiti State Government and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday agreed that a drug-free certificate should be the condition for intending couples before marriages.
Both parties reached the resolution at the end of a town hall meeting, titled ‘Walk away from drugs’, an event organised by the state Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the NDLEA in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
According to the document produced at the end of the event by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the agency and the state government agreed on “the development of intelligence sharing network mechanism at the grass-root level with a view to dismantling the cultivation, manufacturing and use of illicit drugs and arrest the drug barons and their cohorts.”
The communiqué read in part, “Drug-free certificate should be demanded before solemnisation of marriages; establishment of drugs control prevention committee in all communities to comprise NGOs, faith-based organisations, religious and opinion leaders, royal fathers, parents, youths and other relevant stakeholders; strong parent-child relationship should be explored to help the society restore the value system.
“The adoption of a public health approach in collaboration with relevant authorities such as the public service, authorities of tertiary institutions and political heads for confidential drug use integrity test to be carried out on newly recruited civil servants, including directors and permanent secretaries, and newly admitted students and individuals seeking political offices at all levels.”
It explained that the plan was for early detection of individuals who use drugs and to proffer solutions.
They said the measures were agreed on following concerns “about the exponential and worrying figures about the illicit drug use in Ekiti State with the attendant impact on mental health of its people and socio-economic development of the state; as well the devastating consequences of the use of illicit drugs on national security, education, mental and economic development of our youth population and women.”
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