Cummings Wants Govt Focus on Drugs Crisis -Says Liberia is Drug Transit Point

Against the backdrop of the January 19, 2022 stampede that left 29 Liberians killed when zogos reportedly attacked a crusade service in New Kru Town, the Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, says the Government of Liberia needs to stop paying service and wage war on drugs if the youths of the country must be redeemed.

“How many of our citizens need to die so that our government understands the urgency of acting seriously to secure our streets and communities? How many of our children need to be addicted to harmful drugs before we prioritize rehabilitation, and clean up our communities of the harmful drugs and ghettos?” Mr. Cummings lamented in a statement released Sunday regarding the proliferation of drugs and zogos in the country.

“A few days ago, our hearts were broken by a national tragedy. At a religious crusade in New Kru Town, a number of Liberians, most of whom were women and children, lost their lives, while others were wounded, in a rush said to have been caused when the worshippers were fleeing from an attack by “zogos”.

“I have reached out to some of the families of the victims, and some of the organizers of the crusade. Understandably, they are heartbroken. Mothers and fathers have lost their children; children have lost their parents; and what should have been a time of praise and worship has left families and the entire nation mourning and grieving,” said Cummings, while asking for the prayers of all Liberians of every faith and denomination for the comfort of the grieving families and healing for the wounded.

“No family deserves to have their children or parents die while they worship; nor should our streets, homes and communities continue to be increasingly unsafe and insecure,” he said.

Touching on the cause of the drugs problem in Liberia, the ANC political leader noted how Liberia is now referred to as a transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets.

“This means people are using our country to sell harmful drugs to other countries. The harmful drugs are not just passing through our country. They are selling it to our children, including in our schools.

“These harmful drugs are destroying the minds of our children, making our communities unsafe, and risking the future of our country. We must stop it!

“To stop it will requires stronger and more resourceful enforcement agencies, including tighter inspections and controls at all ports of entries, while shutting down the drug rings and ghettos in communities. It will also mean funding youth rehabilitation and mentorship programs,” Cummings advised, noting, “if those who are supposed to protect our schools and communities from harmful drugs are the ones actually helping to bring the harmful drugs into the country, we will not be able to stop it. We will not be able to stop it, if the people who should be protecting our children are the ones protecting those selling the harmful drugs to our children.”

“This is not just wrong, it is wicked. This government needs to take a hard look at itself, and get serious about stopping the harmful drug business in our country. Even in this dark period of our nation, we must never forget that many, if not all of those who attended the Crusade, including those unfortunately who died in the rush, and those alleged to have caused it, are victims of long, repeated and systemic injustices in our country.

“In a country blessed with so much wealth, too many Liberians continue to be too poor. Too many continue to be denied opportunities, and too many continue to be left too far behind. Rather than working to solve these problems, this government is too busy making excuses and blaming others,” Cummings further lamented.

According to Cummings, the strength of a chain is measured by its weakest link, and that the real value of any society is not measured by how the best of the citizens are treated, but how the worst of society are catered for.

“Citizens must care, and the government has a higher duty to care. This is why when the government is dividing the country’s wealth, it is wrong to continue to give more to those who should be getting less while giving nothing to those who should actually be getting more. We have to change this.

“A government that truly cares will not buy a US Eighty Thousand Dollar car for one official when there is no effective rehabilitation program for its addicted citizens. It cannot be right that we will prioritize the size of convoys when the police needs training and resources to fight crimes, and when hospitals have no beds or medicines?

“The tragedy in New Kru Town is an urgent call to action. To answer the call, we must reset the national priorities and reexamine our values. A good place to start will be to provide allocation in the budget currently under consideration by the Legislature to support organizations and agencies on the frontline of the fight against crimes and drugs,” said Cummings.

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