Ex-senator blames government for influx of drugs
By: Naneka A. Hoffman
Former Maryland county Senator John Ballout blames persisting use of drugs in Liberia on government’s failure to tackle drug abuse.
He said past and current governments have ignored danger drugs pose to the future of the country.
“This issue of drugs, past governments have failed to solve and the current government has failed as well. It’s about time we prioritize it as an issue of the people and by the people”, he noted.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on October 18, 2022, the former senator urged government to take seriously drug abuse by erecting rehabilitation centers across the country and introducing measures to deter the influx of drugs here.
He disclosed a plan to stage nationwide protests against drug abuse to captivate attention of the government and promised to work with government in combating the abuse of drugs.
“Though the government has been irresponsible and reneging on their responsibilities to combat drugs. We are going to stage a nationwide protest against drugs to call the attention of the government and pledge our support in working with government to combat drugs”, the former senator said.
He also urged the government to empower the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency to combat smugglers across the country, while alleging that the Nigerian community in Liberia is responsible for the huge influx of drugs in the country.
“We must be very unequivocal to tell the Nigerian government that Nigerians are flooding our market with drugs and these Nigerians have to stop it”, Senator Ballout alleged.
Liberian security forces have from time-to-time arrested Nigerians for smuggling drugs in the country, including counterfeiting.
He lamented that it is appalling to watch potential future leaders of Liberia lavishing their future in ghettos when they should be in an environment breeding their potential to take up national leadership.
He said Liberians should put aside diplomacy and become more robust in fighting drugs abuse, saying “If I who can be more diplomatic in solving problems can talk about taking strong measure against drugs smugglers, it means that diplomatic means have failed and it is about time we all join forces to fight these few Nigerian criminals, who are killing the future of our children.”
He said the DEA should not only arrest drug users, but rather those importing harmful substances that are destroying the future of the next generation of Liberians.