A message from the West Africa Drug Policy Network to the President-elect of the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E. Julius Maada Bio, regarding the current trend of illicit drug-related activities and its detrimental impact on individuals in Sierra Leone.
Your Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Dr Julius Maada Bio, the West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN), congratulates you on your re-election as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
We also wish to recognise and applaud you for the outstanding achievements of your previous administration, especially in the areas of legislative and institutional reform.
It is apparent that these achievements contributed significantly to your re-election, which provides an ideal opportunity for you to build on them and ensure that they outlive your presidency.
However, the West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN) observes with deep concern the proliferation and increased consumption of illicit drugs in Sierra Leone, especially among the young generation who are deemed to be the principal beneficiaries of your flagship programme – the human capital development agenda.
Your Excellency, given their current trend, this proliferation and increased consumption of illicit drugs stand the chance to undermine the very essence of the human capital development agenda if not immediately addressed.
We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this reality that besets our nation. We must note with caution that the fundamental elements of democratic governance are threatened wherever the trade of illicit drugs thrives.
Your Excellency, to continue building on your human capital development agenda, it is crucial to consider the review of the current drug control strategy as a major item on your next five years’ development agenda.
In the words of the late Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, “drugs may have destroyed many lives, but wrongheaded governmental policies have destroyed many more.”
Your Excellency, on this note, we wish to respectfully recall your state opening of parliament speech on May 10, 2018, where you pledged to “review the laws against drug trafficking in order to meet national and international obligations.”
While we admit that some progress has been made so far in this direction, it is evident that the problem needs to be adequately addressed. The widespread availability of illicit drugs remains a national concern. It is, therefore, obvious that a more creative and evidence-based approach is required to develop a workable solution to this problem, and the West Africa Drug Policy Network is more than delighted to lend its expertise.
Your Excellency, we wish you a successful 2nd term in office as we eagerly look forward to your prompt intervention in addressing Sierra Leone’s drug problem.
God bless you, and God bless Sierra Leone.
West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN)