A former Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Akrasi Sarpong, has questioned the commitment of Ghana’s legislators in the fight against illicit drugs in the country.
He said Members of Parliament (MPs) have done little in their constituencies to help NACOB fight the menace of illicit drugs. He, therefore, urged them to step up the fight against drugs, beginning from their respective constituencies.
Speaking on UTV on Friday, 16 June, 2017, he asked: “How many MPs have one signboard in their constituencies with the message ‘Drugs are bad’. What is the commitment to fighting drugs? Even HIV, how many parliamentarians have signboards? The ones there were not put up by the parliamentarians but [NGOs].”
Popular reggae musician and radio show host Abubakar Ahmed, aka Blakk Rasta, in June 2015 alleged that some 80 per cent of Ghana’s parliamentarians used marijuana. He was dragged before the Privileges Committee of parliament and subsequently made to apologise, but Mr Akrasi Sarpong said although Blakk Rasta was wrong in slandering the MPs, that incident should have spurred the legislators on to intensify their fight against drugs.
“Since 1992, not a single Member of Parliament [has put up a billboard]. Some help NACOB on World Drugs Day: they organise marches, but a permanent signboard is missing in their constituencies. MPs have the capabilities to put up billboards. They don’t need to use their own monies but their connections, like speaking to sponsors,” he noted.
He encouraged MPs to assist NACOB in creating awareness on the dangers of illicit drugs in their constituencies, especially on 26 June, 2017 when the world marks International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.