Minister urges religious leaders to help fight drug trafficking

Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor

Mr Ofori Agyei, member of the Narcotic Control Board, has advised the authorities of schools, which had been invaded by drug users, to seek help from the law enforcement agencies instead of confronting them.

He said this would prevent the situation where they would be attacked by the drug addicts, saying that, “you should alert the police, who has the personnel and the necessary skills to handle the situation”.

Mr Agyei gave the advice during the observation of the World Drugs Day at Somanya, on Monday.

He urged heads of schools to avoid dismissing students found to be using illicit drugs, but rather they should be counselled and educated on the effects of drug use, adding that, those who need more care can be taken to rehabilitation centres.

The Minister of Interior, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, in a speech read on his behalf, called on faith based organizations, political parties, civil society organizations and schools to join in the fight against the use and trafficking of illicit drugs.

He said the future of the country hinged on a healthy youth “therefore if the youth of the country became drugs addicts then their future would be bleak”.

On behalf of the government, Dr Kumbour commended the media for their role in the combat of use and trafficking of illegal drugs.

He said his Ministry was working towards the review of the old Narcotics Control Enforcement and Sanctions Act of 1990 to make laws on narcotics tougher and ensure a far reaching effect on sanctions imposed by the new law.

Dr Kumbuor said the country would collaborate with other countries in the West African sub-region to make it difficult for drugs to enter the sub-region or leave the area.

A speech read on behalf of the Chairman of the Narcotics Control Board, Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, said  drug trafficking had assumed a sophisticated level with traffickers using all available methods and techniques to outwit law enforcement agents.

He said to contain the situation; the board was in the process of recruiting highly qualified persons to augment the current staff strength and to resolve the staff challenge facing the board.

Mr Sarpong said the board had encouraged more inter-agency co-operation and co-ordination among agencies responsible for drug law enforcement and demand reduction.

He said the board would continue to collaborate with both local and international drug law agencies, Non-Governmental organizations, Civil Society Organizations and other identifiable bodies with the aim of ridding the communities of drugs and its associated crimes.

Source: GNA

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