Apr 8, 2008, 6:07 AM
Organised by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), the commemoration was held at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) grounds.
The commemoration brought together young people, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, services chiefs and other sets of people in the country to dilate on the theme for this year: “Think Health, Not Drugs”.
According to officials, the day is set as side to increase awareness in and cooperation from the general public, especially the youth, to campaign against drug abuse and trafficking.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Deputy Mayor of KMC, Yusupha Sanyang, said the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking is observed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and all other drug law enforcement agencies across the globe.
According to him, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit DrugTrafficking as an expression of determination to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
“The world drug problem continues to constitute a serious threat to public health, safety and well-being of humanity, in particularly young people, national security and sovereignty of states,” deputy Mayor Sanyang said.
The problems of drug also undermine socio-economic growth, political stability and sustainable development, he notes: “It is in this spirit that the NDEA was established as an agency responsible for all drug-related issues in The Gambia.
The deputy Mayor said further: “Young people of this country are the future leaders who would shoulder the responsibility of taking over this country long after this current generation retires. We cannot allow these young people to expose to lifestyles that are destructive and counterproductive.”
Mr Sanyang called on the general public to come together as stakeholders to join the crusade against drug abuse and trafficking.
For his part, Dr Abubacarr Senghore, chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDEA, expressed similar sentiments, saying the day has been set aside by UNODC for all member countries to celebrate the excellent and untiring work of drug law-enforcement institutions as well as to draw public attention on the dangers posed by drugs on youths and nations around the world.
“There is a growing realization that in this global village of ours, no part of the world can boast of being unaffected by the drug menace,” he says, while assuring the gathering that the NDEA “will not relent in it noble course and mandate” to fight against drug abuse and trafficking.
Dr Senghore added: “The president and the government will leave no stone unturned in helping the NDEA wiping all drugs in this country.”
The public relations officer of the NDEA, ASP Abdoulie Ceesay, commended KMC for hosting the event and thanked Gamcel, Africell and QCell for sponsoring the commemoration.
Mr Ceesay urged all to disseminate the information and engage others in the fight against drug abuse.