The National Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) last week reconfirmed its determination to halt drug trafficking in Liberia. DEA Director General Anthony K. Souh stated resolutely and unequivocally that no one, including the most persistent and unscrupulous drug traffickers, will deter the Agency from its mission.
We applaud Director General Souh and his staff for their determined and uncompromising stance and call on the Justice Ministry and the entire Security apparatus to combat this menace that threatens to harm our already traumatized post-war youth.
There is no gainsaying (contradiction, denial) that drug abuse is dangerously harmful to any nation, especially the young, because the first thing it does is to destroy the mind. The second harmful effect is to devastate the spirit, by robbing people of their self confidence, even their faith in God, by giving them a totally false sense of empowerment, that once they are “high” they can do anything.
One of the biggest threats illicit drugs imposes on society is indiscipline. We all know what the civil war did to inflict indiscipline upon our youth, many of whom were drugged into becoming fighters at tender ages, some as young as eight, “messing” up almost for good their minds, bodies, spirits and behaviors. This is the lost generation we have to deal with today—the younger generation that for the first time in our history is less educated than the older one.
As the government, its Ministry of Education, the nation’s schools, colleges and universities, the parents themselves and all other stakeholders are struggling to revive and improve our failed education system, we are now faced with this growing threat of drug trafficking by unscrupulous foreigners and their greedy and unpatriotic Liberian co-conspirators, who are determined to enrich themselves at the expense of our already deprived and suffering people, especially the young.
Some of these corrupt and dangerous foreigners are so hell bent on continuing their drug trade and making money that they are trying to hide behind the allegation of “harassment” of a certain alien community.
The only relief of the DEA in this case is to spread its dragnet and catch the culprits red-handed, expose them immediately to the police and the public and bring them to justice, so that they will have nothing else to hide behind but to face the music of prosecution for their pernicious (destructive) crime.
In all of this the DEA Director General and his key staff have two other very serious challenges: first, to undertake a thorough self-examination to make sure there are NO ENEMIES WITHIN the Agency who would compromise its integrity by conniving with the drug traffickers; and second, to watch keenly their partners among the Police, to ensure that the crusade against drug traffickers is not compromised.
Why do we make such suggestions? Why do we seem to be writing as though we are suspicious? We are not. There is only one reason: drug trafficking is an extremely tantalizing (tempting) business; and the traffickers will go to any length, spend any amount of money to prevent being exposed. And who are their targets against exposure? The DEA people themselves and their partners in the Police or other security forces. Everywhere in the world security forces have mechanisms that spy on one another, for the simple objective of making the system foolproof (infallible). Haven’t we heard of Mexico, where the system is so corrupt that even judges are compromised? The situation is so bad that many law enforcement officers and judges are often murdered. But that is how powerful drug lords are allowed to become if they are not checked in time.
Some people might tell us that this editorial is already belated, for the drug traffickers have by now entrenched themselves within the Liberian security system, and that key functionaries know what is going on, but are also benefitting handsomely from the trade and tend themselves to get “high”.
We hope and pray that this is not true. But we think it is important that the DEA takes seriously these suggestions and makes itself foolproof. That is the only way they can contain this malicious menace in the country and help prepare this generation for constructive and capable engagement in national development.