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MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS PARALIZES ANTI DRUG AGENCY

The Minister of Internal Affairs is called Mr.Musa Tarawallie. By this time round he should not have been in office, performing state functions if the Government of President Koroma had adhered to the recommendations of the Shears Moses Commission Report, but it  would appear that the goodwill, generosity and prerogative of the President has been ridiculed and abused by him. Little wonder as to how the Minister of Internal Affairs has grown taller than the state and now using his Cabinet position to stifle state-owned institutions from growing add more credit to the administrative success of President Koroma.

Several schools of thought have proffered different theories as to why the Minister of Internal Affairs has decided to single-handedly stifle the operation of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, popularly and commonly known as the Anti Drug.

One school of thought has argued that the minister’s apprehension is unconnected with activities that he may not want to become public knowledge if the Agency is provided with the required logistical support  and funding to enable it grow and achieve its objective of tackling and preventing the proliferation and trade of drugs in the country and its related characteristics.

Another school of thought has said that, it is not that the Minister is ignorant of the significance of the Agency, its operations and effectiveness in the country, but sees it as hostile to drug barons; probably who may be his friends and would not want to see them exposed by a state institution that is directly under his supervision and one way of making it redundant, unproductive and non-functional is to hold on to facilities that are badly needed.

Sources at the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency have intimated this medium that the Agency and its workers have been frustrated by  flimsy excuses of the Internal Affairs Ministry relating to the signing of PETS FORMS 1 and 2 for 1st Quarter, 2012 Financial Year for the release of funds to enable the Agency operate as expected and have written letters to the Office of the President and sent copies to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Director of  Budget Bureau, Accountant General’s Office, Performance Coordinator at State House, Chairman Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Internal Affairs and more. Unfortunately, those correspondences have usher in no positive effect since they were dispatched to the various state offices and institutions, as the Minister of Internal Affairs continues to show neglect and put up recalcitrant behavior toward the progress and growth of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

What has giving mixed interpretations, regardless of all  efforts made by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency for the Minister, Mr. Musa Tarawallie to see reason and recognized the objective for the establishment of the Agency and its operation, is for the good of the country not to be used as either a transit point for drugs or be seen as a drug infested country, but alas! the more correspondences are dispatched to the various offices and institutions the more Mr. Musa Tarawallie continues to demonstrate his discontent and dissatisfaction for the establishment and operation of the Agency by depriving it of the necessary funds.

In a letter dated 16th April, 2012 from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the instruction of his boss, he wrote under the headline Signature of PETS FORMS 1 AND 2 FOR 1ST QUARTER 2012 FINANCIAL YEAR “I write with reference to my momo.of 23rd March, 2012 copy extended to the Secretary to the President among others relative to the above subject and to reiterate the Hon. Minister’s position which is in accordance with sections 3 sub-section (d) and 6 sub-section (a) of the National Drugs Control Act 2008 and request that you convene a meeting with the Advisory Council on the above and submit a copy of the minutes of the said meeting to him which will cause his signing of the pet forms”

Sources at the Internal Affairs Ministry say, this response was received and complied with, but the Minister continues to play the “hide and seek game’ with no positive action adopted to made the Agency viable and productive and serve the interest of the public and the Government of President Koroma.

It would be recalled that in July 2008, a group of foreign nationals who were in league with some Sierra Leoneans landed a plane load of illegal products, among which was a consignment of kilogram of cocaine at the Lungi International Airport. They were arrested, tried and found guilty by the court, but under the law those individuals were tried ignited legal debate, which caused the Presiding Judge to intervene and put to rest most of the legal anomalies raised in the debate. These and more led to the establishment of a National Drugs Enforcement Agency. It would appear that some individuals and government functionaries are not happy with this development and are now using state offices to render the operation of the Agency impotent.

While the Lungi International Airport of late, may not be safe for the conduct and  trafficking of drugs and other illegal substances, sources say the trade is still ongoing; though at a lower scale and the participants are using the high seas and areas outskirt the city of Freetown that are less noticeable for such illegal activities to be conducted.

The effective operation of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, if allowed will definitely send most of the drug traders out of business, even those involved in petty drug business, it is strongly believe would have nowhere to hide, but the attitude of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Musa Tarawallie who is expected to champion and promote the objective of the Agency has left the Public, Advisory Council and staff in a state predicament, especially when several efforts have been made and are rebuffed(To be continued)

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