• November 11, 2022

SLPP’s Lucrative Kush Trade… WHO ARE THE DRUG LORDS?

SLPP’s Lucrative Kush Trade… WHO ARE THE DRUG LORDS?
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Discussions regarding the unwarranted occurrences of addiction and substance abuse among youth in Sierra Leone is a matter of concerns that needs to be urgently addressed, with the strongest action ever, if only duty bearers and are working in the interests of their communities. The new order of Kush intake and other deadly drugs under the watch of ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is not new. Sierra Leoneans young and old deserve preferable wellbeing in what is rapidly transforming into an emerging narcotic state; a society wherein drug dealers, traffickers, addicts and other beneficiaries are at much liberty in doing their illicit trade. And the most commonly consumed to a point of destroying the youth is Kush. The smartest way to get admitted to the Kissy Mental Hospital. Yet, its intake is alarming, with the involvements of some reckless Sierra Leone Police personnel, workers in the informal sectors in the dispensation of the governing SLPP; an infamous party synonymous with its tolerant to drug trade, addictions and substance abuse among youth.

Reflecting readers’ attention vividly to the early 2000s when the Freetown International Airport at Lungi was a safe anchorage for drug traffickers from the sub-region, elsewhere in Europe and South America, until when former President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2009 impounded an airplane loaded with huge kilograms of cocaine. The aircraft was seized, the traffickers and dealers were prosecuted with some convicted in Sierra Leone, and others in their respective countries with a rigid anti-drug law passed after the incident. Since then there were not much in the news about hard drugs in the country, though it has raised its ugly head again, this time around with rise in Kush intake, a hybrid Cannabis strain, which is smoothly making its ways into the country impunity, through the helps and support of certain state authorities who are strongly behind the syndicate. The foreign nationals in firm partnership with top government workers at entering points into Sierra Leone can also be hardly excused from this. The destructive drugs are not expected to be proliferated everywhere in the country, provided anti-drug laws which determine penalties for defaulters are fully enforced by the appropriate agencies. But sadly though, Kush is now everywhere in Sierra Leone. It is a matter who traffic it to wherever it can be found for intake or trafficked.

Amidst crucial concerns about the situation being a national pandemic in Sierra Leone, blames should be squarely rest on the shoulders of government authorities, starting with the line Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Sierra Leone Police for why Sierra Leone should be an attractive market in the sub-region for Kush trade.

Duty bearers from state and non-state actors, top leaders onto the least police personnel, should provide answers as to why Kush is highly used here, to a point of destroying the country’s youth.

One reason that has been always projected is that the law enforcement agency – the SLP hardly pursue the Kush and other drug dealers, not to mention importers and traffickers to cartels across the board, simply because they also form strong component of the syndicate. And good number of them are beneficiaries of the illicit deals, as regular recipients of proceeds from the drug trade. A case in point was the recently dismissed SLP personal who was attached to the Kissy Police Division, in the east of Freetown. He was caught highly intoxicated under the influence of drug and alcohol for, as stated in a statement issued from the SLP-HQ. He was fired though police leaders failed to punish the ex-SLP personnel for undermining the enforcement of the anti-drugs law. That clearly speaks to the facts that the SLP is also part of the moneymaking drug trade for their individual benefits. So, don’t even ask why the former Inspector General of Police, Ambrose Michael Sovula provided an escort for the highly suspected forty-feet cocaine container from the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, to the Senior Police Officers Mess at Kingtom. Although the police later told the media that the consignment were gizzards and chicken wings. These acts of the then IGP was somehow suspicious of compromise which undermining the enforcement anti-drugs in the country. Sovula was fired but Kush and other narcotics are on the increase as if no action was taken against him.

The rampant intake of cannabis, tramadol, alcohol and now Kush must be discouraged before it continue pose global disgrace and humiliation to the Sierra Leone. Kush is stench less with short but dangerous freaking. It is mostly used by youth and grownups including formal and informal sector workers. The drug which has in the last few years posed serious danger to society, is widely taken by public transport conductors, drivers and large sects of unemployed youth, under the watch of the SLP.

The police is charged with the task of surveillance, execution of arrests, investigations and charge matters to court for prosecutions. But it is whole different thing now in the case of Kush, as if the illegal trade has taken over the very security sector, to a point that they can no longer enforce the laws. Crimes such as drug smuggling, addictions and the sales harmful substances should not go free, but not under the current watch of IGP William Fayia Sellu and his personnel. So shifting blame for failures to enforcement the laws, the SLP should accept and own the responsibilities by providing detail public explanations on how cocaine, Kush and harmful drugs get into Sierra Leone. The public is concerned, worried about the situation and deserve explanations from the leadership of police, about who import Kush into the country. Questions relating to the importation and manufacturing of Kush are not expected to be answered by a palm wine tapper in Baoya, but the line ministry and the IGP, Sellu. That is to say the Home Office or the Ministry of Internal Affairs under the leadership of Panda Noah, should come out clean and answers these legitimate queries. In other words, those who determines the direction of the country’s internal safety and security must provide the needful answers to concerns relating to the importation, sales and hike in the intake of Kush in the country.

Moreover, knowing the importers of Kush alone, can go a long way in addressing the problem of the well-paid criminal trade. So robust steps need to be taken now moving forward with the trending national debates on how to nip the spread of Kush and other harmful drugs in the bud.

Tracking down Kush importers and their faceless collaborators across the country is key with the full enforcement of the law, with an uncompromising national security approach. This should take the form of a joint operations involving the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the SLP, to conduct stops, as well as raid and searches across the country. The reason being is that the SLP has a credibility drought in that since Adam and Eve it has been conducting raids on drugs cartels to date there has been absolutely no impact. Thus this time around the SLP must be jealously monitored by the RSLAF in the efforts towards the mitigation of the spread of Kush, as the country is fast approaching the June 24th multi-tier elections. To that end we must firmly urge that those charged with the responsible of ensuring that entering point into the country guard robustly and prevent Kush from coming into Sierra Leone. National services especially those on oaths shouldn’t be down played at all, as it always has to do with serious concerns. And to the gallant security personnel of the RSLAF and the SLP, execute your constitutional duties without fear or favour, for which you are being paid from taxpayers’ money. With these few comments FORUM thus reiterates the popular calls on you to sustain surveillance, investigations, arrest and charge defaulters to court for prosecutions, especially those caught in Kush trade.

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