Dooms day awaits drug addicts in the Nigeria Immigration Service as the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammad Babandede on Saturday in Kano declared that all officers and men of the service are mandated to under-go drug test to ascertain their mental alertness during official duties.
He added that officers who test positive to High Blood Pressure will not be allowed to carry arms.
Babandede disclosed this during the passing-out parade of the 3rd Conversion Course of 509 graduands at the Immigration Training School, Kano.
He added that the compulsory drug-test will for be for both senior and junior officers, including himself.
“You know, President Muhammadu Buhari just inaugurated a Committee on drug abuse. We are Nigerians. Every immigration officer is a Nigerian. We are around 28, 000 immigration officers who are all Nigerians.
“It is not only that we are Nigerians, we have been empowered with weapons to protect our country and territorial borders. If we don’t have a strategy to remove the syndrome of drug abuse from our officers, it will be very dangerous for us.
“I hope all other law enforcement will do the same. You cannot give arms to people who take drugs. So, the best thing you can do is to start checking the situation.
“The first stage will not be infinitum, it will be findings; and I will start with myself. That is why I said that the drug test starts with me. I will be the first person to do the test, others will follow.
“When we found you to have drug in your blood, we will rehabilitate you, we will guide you on how to stop it. We will conduct another test, and I assure you by the time when we do three tests, if the person is not changing, it means, that person cannot work with us.
“In the first test we carry out and we find out that you have High Blood in you, we cannot give you weapons. You cannot have contact with weapons at all—this is very important in terms of national security because the government buys arms for us and we cannot use the same arms against our people—that is fundamental,” he stated.
Speaking further, he said the Presidential Committee on drug abuse has already done enough homework, adding that, “the research on drug abuse in the country has already taken place. President Buhari has set up a Committee under Buba Marwa, with the Office of the First Lady, the wife of Mr. President, and the findings were very clear. Drug issue is a big issue in our country, especially in the North.
“So, we must do something very urgently to stop it as the Immigration Service because we are part of Nigeria, and we are Nigerians. All law enforcement agencies are part of Nigerians, so we are also part of the problem, we must try to stop it.”
The Comptroller-General who identified drug addiction as a serious problem, revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari is aware of the drug test initiative, and warned officers and men that, “if you are taking drugs, try and desist from it because it might endanger your career at the end of the day.”
Babandede told the graduands that, “as you depart here, it is important to inform you that you are coming into an IT-driven service that puts high premium on digitization, systems automation and professionalism. I know most of you are familiar with the Technology Building we are constructing at the service headquarters.
“It is a paperless office complex and it will be a hub of Information Communication Technology in the country. Therefore, you need to reinvent yourself and upgrade your skills sets to be relevant in the NIS of today as the era of god fatherism and lobbying has gone for good.”
The Comptroller-General further underscored the need for training and re-training of officers, adding that, “we have continued to embark on training and retraining exercises for enhanced productivity. All our training institutions have been busy with various forms of training exercises throughout the year.
In his welcome address, the Commandant of the Nigeria Immigration Training School, Kano, Mr. Ismail Hamis, urged the graduands to shun sharp practices and upheld professionalism.
He expressed appreciation to Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11 and the good people of Kano state for their support and cooperation.