Ghana Cannot Win Drug War – Kwesi Aning


Dr Kwesi Aning
A Security Researcher at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, Dr Kwesi Aning, has stated that the fight against the importation and exportation of hard drugs in and out of Ghana cannot be totally won.

Dr Aning’s comment follows the arrest of a Ghanaian woman in possession of 10 kilogrammes of cocaine at Heathrow Airport in the UK.

The suspect,  Nayele Ametefeh, was arrested  on Monday, November 10, 2014, while going through arrival formalities at the Heathrow Airport following a tip-off.

She was travelling on an Austrian passport, but also had a Ghanaian diplomatic passport in her possession.

Commenting on the development, Dr Aning told Accra-based Joy FM Tuesday that Ghanaians should not be too optimistic about winning the drugs war.

This, he said, was because there were “such powerful spin-offs – incentives that drive people to get involved and cover up for those who are involved”.

He said a more aggressive approach to fighting drugs was needed if any gains were to be made.

Dr Aning said: ‘I think we need not just a little enforcement approach to this [fighting drug trafficking], we need a public health approach.

‘I think we need to declare this as a war and then to securitise this struggle against drugs…’

He said television could be used to educate people on the dangers of carrying drugs in their stomachs.

According to him, video clips of people who have had drugs burst in the stomachs could be aired before major news bulletins to dissuade others from embarking on a similar path.

Touching on the Nayele Ametefeh case, Dr Aning said it was a blot on Ghana’s reputation.

He said questions should be asked as to how the drugs got into the country in the first place and whether some quantities were still in the country.

The Security Researcher also wondered whether the suspect deliberately changed her departure date thrice because she expected some particular officials to be on duty at specific times to help her evade security scans.

However, he said he was consoled by a statement released by the Narcotics Control Board ( NACOB) to the effect that the lady was deliberately allowed to go through airport checks so that she could be arrested by UK officials as part of the NACOB/Operation WestBridge partnership.

Dr Aning said it would be interesting to see if NACOB would proceed to arrest accomplices of the suspect here in Ghana as part of the operation.

Meanwhile the Ghana Embassy in the UK has announced that it would visit  Nayele Ametefeh  in detention.

High Commissioner, Ambassador Victor Smith, told Accra-based Adom FM that the embassy would want to find out if she is in good condition at the prison where she is being held.

Ambassador Smith said: ‘I am sending two of my officers to go to the prison. I have secured that arrangement. When they bring the report, then I will act on the report. I want them to go there, and have an interview with the girl and then come back with the report so I can send it to Accra.’

‘Whatever the case may be, she is still a Ghanaian… I need to know how they are handling her,’ he added.

Credit: Graphic.com
 

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