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NACOB Workers Call For Ayalingo’s Head   
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Some workers of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) are asking for the immediate removal of the current Executive Secretary, ACP Robert Ayalingo, alleging that he could not save the image of the Ghana Police Service when he headed the service’s Narcotics Unit.

Sources close to the staff indicate that the workers are not the least happy with the administration of the Police Boss who is on secondment to the Board.

It may be recalled that in the heat of the transition, ACP Robert Ayalingo, formerly in charge of PIPPS at the Ghana Police Service, was asked to take charge of the Board by the then government representative at the Ministry of the Interior Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni. Some workers have even held that his appointment was not proper since Alhaji Mumuni by then did not have the powers by law to appoint the head of an institution like the Narcotics Control Board.

The workers alleged that the NACOB Boss has since his appointment made life unbearable for them whilst at the same time, taking praises in the media for arresting the drug menace in the country. Sources revealed that workers were surprised when their Boss went on air to declare that there is shortage of cocaine in the country when indeed drug addicts were still abusing the drugs on the streets of the capital.

They wondered where he got this information from which has led the general public to believe that he was on top of the drug problem in the country and Professor Mills’s government was equally tackling the problem as he promised to do during his campaign prior to the 2008 elections. This is total misinformation and disinformation of the government and the general public at large which he has to answer, they opined.
They also abhorred as recent incident when he went on operation in the Hohoe District to destroy some wee farms in the name of Narcotics Control Board using NACOB resources only to hand over the suspects and the exhibits to the Hohoe Police but were eventually released. Mrs Mills-Robertson, the then acting IGP, therefore ordered an investigation into the matter, which Mr Ayalingo was made a member of the committee. The workers have also urged the government to seriously take an interest in the matter.

On how the drug war could be won, the workers maintained that governments should stop paying lip service to tackling narcotic issues in the country. According to the workers, government should stop politicising the work of the Board and rather concentrate on resourcing the Board to enhance its operation at the grass root level. The workers took a swipe at the government for not showing any desire to restructure or reorganise the place as promised in the NDC manifesto and through out their electioneering campaigns.

The workers argued that the current NDC administration has done nothing except to impose ACP Robert Ayalingo on them. Some senior officers at the Board maintained that the practice whereby Police officers are sent on secondment to the Board must be stopped. They believe that empowering NACOB officers to rise up to the task of administering NACOB is a sure way of overcoming more than ninety (90%) of the problems of the organization.

They registered their displeasure with the current composition of top management where they have an Executive Secretary, the Deputy Executive Secretary, the Director for Enforcement and Control and the current Head of Operations all as Police Officers. They are asking the government to immediately withdrawn the head of Operations Department of NACOB or else they would not cooperate with the officer in question.

They contend that the practice where some Police Officers who are about to retire from the Police Service are “dumped” at NACOB needs to be checked since it is destroying the organisation slowly. According to them Narcotics Control Board is gradually becoming an organ of the Police Service. They added that there are more qualified, competent, experienced and highly educated serving officers who can equally handle these positions. On why the workers think their Boss should be replaced, they held that since the arrival of Robert Ayalingo in January, 2009, he has not held any single Top Management meeting to discuss his vision for the organization neither has he met with staff to outline his Plan of work as an Executive Secretary. “Since he came he has not introduced any new ideas or strategies to combat the drug menace in the country. All structures at the place have come to a standstill and nothing seems to be working properly.”

Sources close to the workers indicate that the only time he has met with workers was to discuss the visit by the Minister for the Interior where he solicited problems facing staff for onward submission to the Minister. An expansion programme initiated by his predecessor to establish Zonal offices across the country has been stalled. “We are the poorest paid workers in Ghana. If the Executive Secretary, the highest paid officer in NACOB is receiving Three Hundred and Six Ghana cedis (GH¢306.00) at the end of the month, what about us the small small ones…” one of the workers conceded.

According to them, they do not enjoy any allowances for work done even though their salaries are the least within the Public Sector. The Executive Secretary according to them does not seem to champion their cause for better salaries and working conditions. On what they described as corrupt practices, the workers alleged that ACP Ayalingo has awarded a contract for six thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢ 6,000.00) for one Alhaji to organize a drug exhibition show on behalf of the Board during the celebration of the 2009 world drugs day. This according to the workers is highly abnormal and unheard of.

That since the establishment of the board it has been organising drug exhibitions on World Drugs’ Day as part of its strategies to raise public awareness on the effects of drugs on the individual and the society at large. They wonder why an outsider without the expertise in drug education is awarded a contract to organise an exhibition on behalf of NACOB. This is a matter which should attract the attention of government and must be investigated, they contended. This is also taking place at a time when money is needed for staff welfare and expansion of regional offices which have all stalled since he took over as head of the organization. The workers maintained that there is the urgent need for government to take drastic measures to restructure the Board, appoint a governing Board which is long overdue and withdraw the services of Mr. Robert Ayalingo if it is indeed committed to combating the drug menace in the country.
Source: Thinkghana

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