Nov 18, 2015, 9:44 AM
The members of the Narcotics and Corruption-free World Foundation (NACFWF), a civil society organization, on 6 October 2010 organised a one-day sensitisation seminar at the B.O. Semega Janneh Hall in Tallinding.
The forum on the theme "Capacity building for drivers, traders, and farmers in the eradication of narcotics and corruption in The Gambia, commenced after a nationwide sensitization tour, campaign by stakeholders.
In his address to the gathering, Idrish A. Masade, president of NACFWF, said the foundation is an anti-narcotics and anti-corruption organisation that is non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian. It is also a civil society and charitable organization that deems it fit “to eradicate narcotics and combat corruption from the surface of the earth”.
"The earlier we realise that we have a problem and the sooner we have a solution to solve that problem, the better for us all," he said. "People are dying at an alarming rate - almost every second - as a result of drug abuse. This must be stopped."
He continued: "The fact is that we have a twin problem - narcotics and corruption, they have the potential to destroy us and humanity in general."
Even though some may say it is the government's responsibility to save and protect the people from the vices of narcotics and corruption, Mr Masade believes it can also go the other way round. "People will agree with me that it is also our responsibilities to protect ourselves, our families, our nation and our governments,” he reasons. “This is why they are calling on everybody to say no to drugs and corruption."
Drug peddlers and corruptible people come in different ways pretending to be saints but "the truth is that they are the real Satan", he said.
Mr Masade also said his organisation, together with narcotic- and corrupt-free people, is going to solicit and advise the government to come up with more strict laws to punish anyone found wanton.
"The inevitable role of the drivers, traders and farmers in national development cannot be overemphasised as they are very important and precious to us," he added.
The public relations officer of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Mr Ceesay, advised people to desist from dealing in drug, saying that drug problem "is not an individual problem but a collective problem" thus requires a collective solution.
While calling on the general public to collaborate with them to nab drug peddlers, Mr Ceesay also warned parents to desist from obstructing NDEA officers from executing their duty.
"Drug peddlers are not living in streets but in homes," he told the gathering at the workshop chaired by Mr Modou Lamin Badjie.