The Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa has directed the immediate implementation of drug integrity test for intending couples before being joined in holy matrimony.
According to a statement released on Friday, 19 August by the Director, Media and Advocacy, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi, the royal father, who doubles as the Chairman, Federal Capital Territory FCT Council of Chiefs, Abuja, gave the directive to the chief Imam of Abuja and his council of chiefs when the Chairman/Chief Executive of the anti-narcotics Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), paid him a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy visit.
Marwa in his remarks, while congratulating the royal father on the 25th anniversary of his ascension to the throne, also commended him for his unflinching support to the Agency in its fight against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.
The anti-narcotics agency’s chief noted that the traditional institution is a very important stakeholder as it exists across every part of society all the way to the grassroots. Consequently, he appealed to the monarch, who he said has already been in the forefront of tackling drug abuse, to intensify efforts to set up a WADA committee in Abaji kingdom that would report to him directly on not only the illicit drug deals, but also the families and youths in the small communities who have been negatively affected by drug abuse, and need help.
Marwa further noted that the increasing cases of domestic violence, of which women are the victims, was fuelled by drug abuse. As such, it was necessary that intending couples show drug free certificates before being joined in marriage, so that those who test positive can be treated before they are wedded. This, he said, would go a long way to curbing unpleasant incidents seen in recent times.
Responding, the Ona of Abaji averred that the drug menace had become a huge problem ravaging ‘many of our young men and women, including couples who are supposed to be enjoying their marital lives”, but stated however that the onboarding of Marwa as head of the anti-narcotics Agency has brought some succor.
The royal father promised to promote the drug integrity test advocacy of the agency in addition to other ongoing efforts to reduce drug demand and supply within his communities.
Highpoint of the visit was the conferment on Marwa, by the monarch, of the chieftaincy title of Santuraki of Abaji kingdom.