12 November 2012

Liberia: Drug Test Demanded - Rep. Acarous Gray

Montserrado County Representative Acarous Moses Gray not accusing heads of security apparatus has demanded drug test for officials as this exercise will enhance a new dimension on the war on drugs and other dangerous substances in the country.

Insisting on the conduct drug test for public officials and other high profile individuals that have oversight responsibility, the Montserrado County lawmaker who as guest of the National Coalition of Civil Society Organizations of Liberia (NACCSOL) the exercise when successfully complete will certainly set a pace in combating the drugs menace in the country.

"I want for all of them from the security apparatus to be checked as to whether they are involve with the use of drugs because they represent those agencies that battle drug abuse in the country", Hon. Gray indicated.

He said these agencies are very vital when it comes to the fight against drugs and as a result of that they must be established as drug-free so as to give moral rectitude in the fight against dangerous substances.

"I am one of those and I am prepare to do my drug test to set example so that other officials can follow suit; those in national security apparatus to include National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Inspector-General of the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Ministry of National Security (MNS), National Security Agency boss and others", the lawmaker demanded.

These officials, Honorable Gray added, should take a voluntary step in this director so as to set the record straight in effecting a cleanup operation in the various security apparatus they represent.

The Montserrado County lawmaker pointed out that he did not accuse any one; adding: "I did not accuse anyone, do not get me wrong, but I am just saying that it will be a forward march for the country growth and development".

Honorable Gray added that when the issue of drug abuse was raised at the conference it ticked his mind, a situation that prompted a call to administer drug test for the entire leadership of the security apparatus which according to statue has oversight responsibility to curb the illegal trade in dangerous substance.

Commenting on issues arising from the forum on international, regional treaties, conventions and protocols of which Liberia is party, with specific reference to the code of conduct Representative Gray said the instrument which is currently before the House's Committee that he is a member will after the return of National Legislature be passed into law the code of conduct for public officials.

He furthered, the code of conduct is sub-divided amongst the three branches of government with each branch having a distinct content and functions.

"In our rules at the National Legislature we have administrative rules similar to the Executive code of conduct all of which is a constitutional mandate and not a choice; what we are working on now is the institutional code of conduct and not the administrative because it already exist", the lawmaker said.

One sticky issue that 'I considered as a gap is the issue of gift to officials of government which states that no officials of government should receive a gift value more than US$50 which of course undermine culture and tradition of the people.

Honorable Gray said in recent past he arrested by the Liberian National Police for drug charges and was later released. "This exercise will determine who is a drug user or dope addict and who is not".

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