President George Manneh Weah on Thursday at the Ellen Johnson Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, launched the government’s USD$13.9 million dollars national fund drive for the rehabilitation and empowerment of “At-Risk Youth” referred to as zogos, cautioning them to get back to their senses and stop consuming narcotic substances.
The project is sponsored by all UN agencies, US Embassy, World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, and other international partners. Accordingly, the initiative is said to be implemented in three phases with phase one being implemented in Montserrado, Bassa, Margibi, and Cape Mount counties and phase two will take place in Bong, Nimba, and Lofa counties while the third phase will be in the southeastern region.
After officially launching the project, the Liberian Leader took his time to caution the At-Risk youth that the time has come they take life seriously, asserting that they made up an important demography sector of Liberia, and as such, they must make use of their youthful days, saying “gentleman get back to your senses, If you have time in your favor use it wisely”, he said.
Speaking further in a manner that he termed “gbana talk”, the President recognized that there is a huge number of unemployed youths in the country but stressed that the vast majority are unemployable because of their lifestyle which he said posed danger not only to themselves but to the society in general.
He continued by urging the At-Risk youth to work with the government as the government collaborates with their partners to secure a better future that is required of them.
Therefore, he encouraged them to serve as their personal security in reporting drug abuse to the relevant authority. “The government and the United Nation are raising money for your wellbeing but will not be at your houses to take liquor and drugs from your mouths, you will have to decide and report to the authorities those selling drugs”.
At the same time, the Liberian Chief Executive called on the National Legislature with emphasis on the Senate to be more proactive in passing a non-billable drug law that will ensure that the inflow of narcotic drugs in the country is minimized.
Speaking further, he also called on the Judiciary system to be more zealous in the interpretation of the laws to ensure that those found guilty of bringing drugs into the country are made to face the full weight of the law by serving their prison sentence.
The Liberian President called on parents to pay more attention to disciplining their children, according to him, that will deter them from the use of drugs. “When we were coming up as children, everyone who is capable of giving birth to you was your parents. If you did wrong like going to the ghetto, you come home you will be whipped and peppered and you will never think of going there again”, he narrated.
Reported by: G. Bennie Bravo Johnson