By Bill W. Cooper
A prelate of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA), Rev. Dr. Gemane G. Getteh has alarmed over the increase of illicit drugs in Liberia, something he said should now claim the attention of national government.
“This Country is now facing serious drugs epidemic and it is time for us as government and people to act now or we will lose a whole generation to this terrible and deadly malice being imported into Liberia by some unscrupulous individuals,” he stressed.
Serving as a guest speaker at the official dedication ceremony of Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon Center for Rehabilitation and Integration (CRI) yesterday, in Cooper Farm community in Rehab, Rev. Getteh pointed out that Liberia is now at a crossroad as a result of the huge quantity of drugs in the country.
According to the SDA prelate who is also the Executive Clinical Director at the Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Trauma and Addiction Specialist, Liberia law against drugs is still seen to be retributive and not rehabilitation owing to the fact that those who are on drugs are all mentally challenged.
He added that in order for Liberia to win the fight against drugs, it will require the collective efforts of every Liberians, but pointed out that it should first start from national government through the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary branches to craft a law to make drugs a non-bailable offense.
“This is a war that we as a country are now engulfed with and we cannot win it withl humiliation, castigation or division but instead, we can win this battle against drugs with passion, selflessness and unity irrespective of our political differences,” Rev. Getteh intoned.
Meanwhile, the SDA prelate has also frowned on officers of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) for the manhandling of Liberians who smoke the drugs, noting, “These people are already mentally challenged because of the substance, so I think it will be prudent enough for them to use the law against the dealers/importers.”
“You cannot treat drug traffickers in a more unique way and treat the consumers who you should be primarily thinking about rehabilitating in such a bad and humiliated way, and I think this is unacceptable and frustrating,” he averred.
Earlier, Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon stated that the construction/rehabilitation of a center to cater to the disadvantaged youths in the country as a result of the past and present government’s failure to prioritize the issues or rehabilitation and counseling of Liberians who fought during the civil war.
“Today is a win for our future generation and country because of our government past and now failure to rehabilitate our children after the war, almost all of our youths are now turning into ‘zogos’ and with this center, we are of the hope that it will help our younger generation,” he said.
Sen. Dillon however disclosed further that there will be no fees attached to the facility, stressing, “Nobody will pay for registration, feeding, clothing or for shelter. We will also treat them in the clinic free of charge.”
In separate remarks, Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and Youth and Sports Minister, D. Zeogar Wilson lauded Sen. Dillon and team for the rehabilitation center while at the same time pledged the government’s fullest support in ensuring that Liberia’s disadvantaged youths are rehabilitated.
“Liberia Is Facing
…Says Prelate; As Sen. Dillon Dedicates Rehabilitation Center
By Bill W. Cooper