FROM Buba Marwa, the Nation’s can do anti-drug czar, came a suggestion that affected the tone of the discourse during the week. Marwa wants all the presidential aspirants to undergo a drug test.
The suggestion echoes a similar sortie a decade ago when former President Olusegun Obasanjo advocated for psychiatric evaluation of the mental health fitness of the candidates.
The two suggestions remain conjectures for they do not have validation in the constitution or the electoral law.
They should not be casually dismissed though, for they represent simmering unease about the quality of what is on offer.
Future amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Law should examine the feasibility of implementing the suggestions. In established democracies, a better way of doing it will be by the way of a general national democratic agreement worked out and agreed upon by both political and civil society. Sadly, our perennially ‘nascent’ democracy has not matured to that stage.
This means that for the good of all, searching beam lights will have to be placed on the candidates. There is no alternative for this is a make-or-break decade for a nation warding off existential threats on a myriad of fronts.
Not just the press but a vigilant civil society must take part in detailed scrutiny of the candidates. Searching often inconvenient questions must be asked and answers demanded. It is in this way that the polity will begin to restore sensible and acceptable standards which has been terribly eroded over decades. This will be a positive achievement, for the country. For to be competitive in an interwoven global economy, it must field its first eleven. Rigorous examination will help to achieve this.