Boakai Declares Drugs National Emergency

Former Liberian Vice President Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai has declared the proliferation of drugs across the country a national security emergency threat that needs immediate arrest.

Mr. Boakai, who is making his second attempt for the presidency this October, has vowed to wage war against drug trafficking when he wins the nation’s highest office.

I view it as a threat to our national security and must be elevated to a National Emergency. The statistics cannot be starker,” the 78-year-old said during a press conference held on International Day Against Drugs Abuse Monday, 26 June 2023.

Boakai said the increasing exposure of Liberians, particularly the youth to drug abuse and addiction through ready access to banned substances, if not immediately arrested, will have enormous health, social, economic, and security implications on the country.

It is estimated that 2 in 10 youth in Liberia are users of narcotic substances. Some estimates have it that about 13% of the population is affected by drug addiction,” said Amb. Boakai.

He noted that the correlation between substance abuse and crimes is equally worrying, with the police reporting an increase in drug-related crimes.

He warned that Liberia is fast gaining notoriety as a transshipment country for illicit narcotics, with the country shamefully appearing now as a “narco-state.”

According to him, the country’s weak law enforcement capacity, porous borders, and proximity to major drug transit routes help to contribute to trafficking to and through Liberia.

The Unity Party (UP) standard bearer recalled the recent seizure of 100 million United States Dollars worth of drugs, and the trial saga that ensued.

He also recalled the mysterious and unexplained departure from the country of all those who stood trial and “acquitted.” of the drug-related charges.

Boakai suggested that these are indications of the extent to which the country has been rapidly exposed in the last few years to the narco trade.

He said they also point to the vulnerability of the Liberian society to the impact of such large-scale assaults by international criminal enterprises.

Significantly, it reveals the failure of national leadership, a weak and criminal justice system, and crucially raises suspicion about the probable complicity of some higher-ups in this affair,’’ he noted.

Boakai said it is now obvious that the Weah Administration is incapable, unwilling, complicit, and indifferent to this crisis.

“They don’t see it as most Liberians see it – A NATIONAL EMERGENCY. This is why a change in national leadership is and should be now,” he told Liberians.

The opposition leader cautioned Liberians to see their votes as an opportunity to reverse a dangerous trend by saving their children and securing their future.

According to Boakai, abusers of drugs are prone to mental health illnesses and high suicidal tendencies, and may also die prematurely due to drug overdose.

He also noted that dependency on drugs often leads to crimes, which put both the users and society in peril because these young people are stigmatized and face harsh societal isolation.

Boakai promised to holistically declare war on drug trafficking and use when elected President of Liberia in the upcoming October 10 presidential and legislative pools.

I promise to declare war on drug trafficking and use when elected, which is why the decision you make on October 10 would be one of the most consequential in your lifetime,” said Amb. Boakai.

He implored Liberians to remain vigilant and know that help is on the way to salvage their young people and society from “kush” and the throes of this epidemic.

Source: New Dawn Liberia

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