At the launch of the Montserrado County District #13 Drugs Awareness & Resistance Education (DARE) Movement, the former Vice President of the Republic of Liberia and Standard Bearer of the opposition Unity Party (UP), Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai renewed the call for concerted efforts to eliminate drugs across Liberia.
Amb. Boakai urged residents of every nook and cranny of communities in the country to raise awareness of the major threats illicit drugs present to the society, indicating that the future of the country relies on the shoulder of the youthful generation, which according to him, drugs addiction among youths (zogos) is destroying potential future leaders who are poised to take over the helm of affairs of the country.
“These children are Liberia’s pride and future because they are products of the country. If we rehabilitate our youthful population, it is good but we have to leave them with skills to start with life. This is very serious and all those disadvantaged youths are having potential and talents that the country needs. We need to help them to achieve.”
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, at the New Georgia Nigerian Shop Football field in Mintserrado, while officially launching the District #13 DARE Movement, an initiative of the Assistant Secretary-General of the UP, Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togba and the dedication of the UP’s district office, the former VP said people who sell drugs to children put their future at risk and said it takes all to stand up, mentioning the Legislature to pass the drugs law making it a non-billable crime to bring to book those trafficking and selling drugs.
According to Mr. Boakai, Liberia has good laws but they are only on the script and said the enforcement component of the laws is weak, and he emphasized that the 54th National Legislature make a difference by passing the drugs law, stating that the youthful population is gradually losing its potentials which he said sets the country at risk.
In closing, he noted, “We want to make sure that people who think the only way to get money is to sale drugs, to get out of business”, stressing that under administration when he takes over the country in 2023, he will not just make laws but will ensure the drugs law is passed and enforced throughout the country.
He continued, ” Finally, we are excited to form part of this initiative and we will make sure that this is achievable. We will make sure that under the UP’s government our youths are protected and all those engaged in the importation of drugs across the country have no place for such harmful attitudes”, Amb. Boakai vowed.
Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon said, because of the use of drugs the criminals and crimes rates have increased across the country. “It has come to the point where Liberia is almost no longer safe even during the day hours. People go to crusade and their normal business they are not saved. Drugs addiction and substance abuse is killing our country.”
Speaking further the CPP’s Senator that illicit drugs pouring damage the society, at which time he said, “We can build all the best infrastructures and give the best facilities to our districts and people, but until we rehabilitate and reform our people – their minds and fight the smuggling of imported drugs in our country we are doing nothing.”
Touching the ruling administration led by Mr. George Manneh Weah, the Lawmaker added, he wishes that Senator Saah Jospeh can put aside politics and join the initiative instituted by Madam Kruah-Togba, to raise awareness about drugs and substance abuse among the youths of district #13 and Liberia at large.
Senator Dillion was followed by the All Liberian Party (ALP) Political Leader Mr. Benoni Urey, who pledged his commitment to the DARE initiative, promising that he will make sure the dream of Madan Kruah-Togba is achieved. You are the right person for this district and I can see you representing the Unity Party, the ALP Political Leader further said.
Others attending the program, include Unity Party National Chairman Amin Modad, Lofa District #3 Lawmaker Clarence Massaquoi, Montserrado District #17 Representative Henson Kiazulu, and several prominent citizens, district leaders, and residents from across the district. As part of the engagement processes, the DARE Movement kicked off a football and kickball Tournament, beginning April 9 to 30, 2022.
Speaking earlier, the vision bearer of the DARE Movement, Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togba said the initiative intends to bring young people together and to keep them around to create awareness for all of the communities concerning what she termed a national nightmare. “We can reduce the wide spared of drugs in our district and Montserrado County at large, but it has to start with this little step. We will visit high schools, and communities to continue this awareness and inform the people about the risk of drugs and how young people continue to fall victims.”
Most of the disadvantaged youths have turned into car loaders and usually beg for five or ten Liberian Dollars, while some even engage in stealing and making life unbearable for peaceful citizens and residents, something representative aspirant Kruah-Togba thinks demands immediate attention to save the future of Liberia.
On Thursday, January 20 this year, dozens of youths (zogos) attacked worshippers attending a crusader in New Kru Town, District #16 Montserrado County with machetes, knives, and other deadly weapons which resulted in a stampede, leaving over 30 persons including women and children dead.
Reported by: Stephen G. Fellajuah