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General News
Drugs Situation In Ghana worsening 7/19/2007
The Chairman of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), General Joshua Hamidu, on Wednesday conceded that the problem of illicit drug trafficking and abuse is worsening in the country.He said the streets of cities and towns, secondary schools and psychiatric hospitals were filled with young men who had been caught in the menace of narcotic drugs.




At the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and five of Ghana''s security agencies in Accra on Wednesday, Gen Hamidu said the security agencies had an uphill task to deal with what he called narcotic "demons" in the society.




Under the MoU, a Joint Port Unit with personnel drawn from NACOB, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) will be formed to profile all containers arriving at the country''s ports.The UNODC will offer training for the selected personnel next month for the unit to be operational. Messrs Ben Botwe, Kwaku Duah and Mike A. E. Griffin, Executive Secretary of NACOB, Deputy Director, BNI, and General Manager, Corporate Planning of GPHA, signed for their respective organisations while Dr Joaquim Saweka, WHO Country Representative, witnessed the signing on behalf of the UN.




According to Gen Hamidu, the sad aspect of the problem was that decent people who should be working for decent money were those indulging in the narcotics trade to make money at the peril of others.He said the awful thing about the problem was that the dealers led ostentatious lifestyles after making the money, with society showing more respect to such demons. Gen Hamidu, therefore, called on all Ghanaians, especially the media, to help wage a relentless fight against the criminals.He said the battle was neither one for NACOB nor the security agencies alone but for every Ghanaian.He appealed to the media to always exercise restraint when investigations were being conducted into cases because any rush to publish such stories were bound to thwart the efforts to get to those behind the trade.




Mr Ben Botwe said the drug problem was a multifaceted one, and therefore there was the need for collaboration with other agencies to deal with it.He said each of the agencies had different competencies, hence the co-operation and collaboration under the project to ensure a holistic approach in dealing with the menace.For his part, Dr Saweka said the signing of the MoU was another benchmark of success for the fight against illicit drug trafficking in the country.He said Ghana and Senegal were the only African beneficiaries of the Global Container Project since it was launched in 2005.

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