Parliament on Wednesday stressed the need for a non-partisan approach in tackling the narcotics bane before the scourge undermines the country’s economic development, political, institutional and social cohesion.
Members called for the de-politicization of the narcotics threat, maintaining that a common front should be forged by political entities, individuals, communities and organizations to tackle the situation.
The MPs were contributing to a statement made on the floor of the House by the member for Keta, Mr Richard Quarshigah to mark the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking that falls on June 26 each year.
The day raises awareness of the major problems of illicit drugs represent to society.
The legislators held that was time for the country to realize the narcotics menace could jeopardize the socio-economic gains made by the country and work towards tooling and strengthening institutions of State mandated to address the problem.
They also called for a positive and proactive interface between those institutions and the public in order to make the fight against the canker easier.
Paapa Owusu Ankomah, the MP for Sekondi, said narcotics phenomenon if not managed well could undermine the stability and integrity of the country and urged the security institutions to ensure that individuals apprehended for their participation in the trade and distribution of narcotics should be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He also appealed to the developed world to support the efforts of developing counties to counter the menace, especially nations in the gulf of guinea straits, which have become transit points for narcotics going into Europe and the Americas.
Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohammmed, MP for Nanton and a Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, also urged parents to take responsibility in guiding their wards away from drugs.
He also pressed that drug addiction should not be treated as a crime and that people who found themselves in that vice should be seen as having challenges.
Mr Quarshigah noted that illicit drug use and substance abuse had permeated the youth, who would drive the country’s development and called for critical measures to address the issue.
He said drug abuse and illicit drugs impacted negatively on Ghana’s well being and exacted a substantial toll on the consolidated fund.
The lawmaker said the takings from that activity could potentially negate the macroeconomic gains made by the country over the years and harm the nation’s fledgling democracy, institutions and political stability.
“Mr. Speaker, as much as it is apt to commend the various national agencies for their renewed commitment in the fight against the menace, it is pertinent to urge them to do more to tackle the drug menace head on.
“I believe that the solution lies in tackling the demand and supply angles of these drugs”, he said.
He urged Parliament to take the necessary steps to resource the security agencies and courted public support to make the fight against illicit drug trade successful.
“Indeed, the fight against drug abuse and illicit drugs trafficking can only be a shared responsibility and can be achieved through a collaborative effort of the citizenry and state institutions,” he added.
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