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Opinions of Monday, 28 August 2006

Columnist: Adomako, Appiah Kusi

Dismantling The Cocaine Empire In Ghana

This Is Not A Religion. This Is Not Politics. This Is A Murder.-(Madeline Albright, Former US Secretary of States, 1997-2001)

It has been almost three months since I left Ghana on ‘sabbatical’ leave in the United Kingdom.

I have however been following events unfolding in Ghana closely and the one big issue which has so much monopolised the pages of the press and crowded the daily conversations of ordinary Ghanaians are the issues of cocaine and drug deals.

Everywhere in the world Ghanaians are being arrested at airports and in police swoops for allegedly trafficking in drugs. Back home in Ghana the picture appears ugly and pathetic. People who have entrenched themselves in this business over the years appear to the ordinary Ghanaian to have managed to "stay in the same bed" with law enforcing agency operatives such that they can forever survive in the business. Issues surrounding the strange disappearance of parcels of substances suspected to be cocaine off a ship which docked at Tema Harbour cannot be understood by a questioning mind like the TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE.

The recent case where drugs confiscated and kept at the safe of the National Narcotic Control Board got missing cannot pass without comment either. If confiscated drugs cannot be kept safely at the highest government agency office, then it tells you how serious this problem is.

There is a real danger is that drug barons could infiltrate the Legislature, Judiciary and political parties and that could destabilise our democratic institutions. These people can fund a particular political party and once the party wins the election everybody can imagine what would happen in the country.

The Justice Woode Committee has unveiled the penumbra behind the cocaine empire in Ghana. It is said that some big men in the country, the police and other security agencies may know more about this but may have kept quiet. Even ordinary citizens may know some. The politicians know them; the chiefs know them; pastors and Imams know them; but may all have kept quite.

The drug barons in communities are known by people who may have kept quiet. Why? One may ask?

The reason is that these drug barons are very rich and like other rich men in society, when invited to functions will give huge sums of money to political parties, churches and for other causes. Have we all indirectly become collaborators in helping the Evil Empire to grow in Ghana.

Now it appears we want to politicise the cocaine and drugs trafficking saga in Ghana. His Excellency, the president appears to have started the blame game by saying that it was Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo who brought in Venezulan drug barons into the country whilst the NDC also threw a fierce arrow towards the NPP. What will this Adam blaming Eve and Eve also blaming the serpent game achieve at this time? Desperate times call for desparate measures. The time is now or never. If we keep silent about this drug issue and alter justice because victims and the would- be victims may be generous donors to our political parties and to other good causes in the country then we would be purchasing the destruction of Ghana on an instalment plan. The kind of extensive searches which Ghanaian passengers who arrive in London go through is as results of our recent reports of cocaine and drug traffickers using Ghana as their base. With the 10th August failed attempts to blow ten transatlantic flights to United States, the British police has started passenger profiling whereby people from Asian descent would be photographed and their data taken before boarding any flight leaving the UK. This is quite humiliating but in the interest of public safety security agencies must act. This is a result of terrorism.

Likewise if we do not do anything about this nefarious drug trafficking or transiting through Ghana, I can foresee that in the coming weeks Ghanaians travellers arriving in the EU nations and the US would be profiled. This will be a serious dent to our national image. May be we need to have independent investigators and prosecutors to deal with drug offences in this country. The security agencies will have to rise up from their slumber and face the new order. We need to dismantle the very fibre of this evil empire and it must transcend party lines because Ghana is bigger than any political party. His Excellency the president must look within his party first. He needs to appeal to the conscience of his party member, Honourable Eric Amoateng who is currently facing charges over an alleged drug trafficking to vacate his seat so that the people of Nkoranza North can have a representative in parliament, for charity we say begins at home. Everywhere in the country, we should be bold enough to tell big donors who may remit drug booties to our parties, churches, mosques, stool and skin lands and families that we can only be associated with genuine money. Again, the police and the CID should start investigating the operations of people, businesses that appear suspicious, incomes and their properties of people they suspect etc. If we fail to do this then it would mean that we have failed mother Ghana and posterity would never forgive us.

Appiah Kusi Adomako is an international freelance writer and the president of the Ghana Chapter of Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation. He can be contacted through: Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation, P.O. BOX. KS 13640. Kumasi. Tel www.leaders-of-tomorrow-inc.com

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.