Gassama, the director general of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia
(DLEAG), has underscored his agency’s readiness to work with partners in their
quest to intensify and strengthen their interdiction and supply suppression
“To those harbouring drug dealers and traffickers, your days are numbered. Sooner than you expect, either the law will catch up with you or you will become a victim of your own doing and the architect of your own destruction,” he warned.
Gassama was speaking yesterday during the opening of a two-day sensitisation of stakeholders on the effects of illicit drug trafficking and abuse held at the NaNA conference hall. The two days convergence funded by the European Union under a Grant to the ECOWAS Commission brought together selected youth and community based organisations.
“No stone will be left unturned in our quest to bridle drugs and related activities from our communities. Therefore, defaulters will be dealt with irrespective of their position or status according to the dictate of the law without fear, favour or ill will,” DG Gassama further warned.
Every patriotic and genuine person, he went on, knows that illicit drugs have no place in any decent society, saying that its effect and impact on various spheres of life and society is enormous.
Recently, he added, The Gambia partnered with the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) with funding support from the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to offer training in the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC).
“This training aims at building local capacity in international standards in drug treatment. This curriculum has proven to be effective and efficient in the area of treatment especially for substance use disorder.”
DG Gassama stated that prevention is key in their crusade on drugs because it intervenes early to prevent people from beginning to use substances that can be harmful to them. “It also helps those who have started using to avoid progressing to substance abuse or seek treatment.”
He said while they continue to undertake drug demand reduction initiatives and programmes. “There will be zero tolerance to illicit drug trafficking and related crimes.”
The DLEAG boss affirmed that no one nation, individual or organisation can curb illicit drug trafficking and related activities alone, while calling for continuous collaboration in stamping out drug menace and its related activities.
Principal Programme Officer, Law Enforcement, Drugs and Project Coordinator, ECOWAS Drug Unit (EDU) ECOWAS Commission, Daniel Akwasi Amankwaah, said substance abuse is also the catalyst for drug trafficking as it is believed that without abuse there will not be the need for trafficking.
“To worsen an already bad situation, drug trafficking fuels other organised crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, destruction of families and the fabric of the society, breeding of violence, wide spread corruption, undermining of state institutions among others.”
This training programme, he said, is very crucial for the fact that “we need to understand the dangers of substance abuse. How we can shield or protect our young ones and make sure they don’t destroy their future with drugs.