Don’t Politicise Narcotics Issue — MPs

Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for the de-politicisation of narcotic issues in the country. Contributing to a statement made on the floor of the House by the Member of Parliament for Keta, Mr Richard Quashigah, MPs from both sides of the house agreed that there was the need for unity in the fight against the narcotic menace. The Keta MP’s statement was made in commemoration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, which fell on Wednesday. Contributing to the statement, the MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, said Ghana had reached the stage where matters such as narcotics should be fought from a common front. He stated that the narcotics trade posed a threat to the country since the barons were capable of infiltrating the salient institutions with their wealth. Papa Owusu-Ankomah called on the security agencies to ensure that people arrested for narcotic offences were made to face the full rigours of the law. “Our intelligence should be sharp in order to get the kingpins of the trade in addition to the carriers”, he said. Papa Owusu-Ankomah appealed to the Western world to support the fight against the canker by countries on the west coast of Africa since that would reduce the quantity of stuff that entered their territories. In his contribution, the NDC MP for Nanton and Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, expressed similar sentiments and reminded parents that they had the responsibility of ensuring that their children did not indulge in narcotics. In his statement, Mr Quashigah indicated that the 2012 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that nearly 300 million people aged 15-64 had used illicit substance — cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogen, opiates and sedative hypnotic at least once in the previous year.