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Posted by: | Posted on: January 14, 2020

‘State Security Officers are Traumatized’

first_imgFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, has said that national security officers, especially those assigned at various point of entry that compromised the interest of the country by allowing harmful narcotic substances to enter the country, are traumatized and should be offered psychosocial counseling services.The high level of narcotic substances that have entered Liberia with the connivance of some national security officers, Ngafuan said are harming the country’s youths.He described illegal drug abuse as the newest national threat that must be tackled now before it becomes too late for the country. “This new threat that has to do with the use of narcotic substances has permeated the entire Liberian society and we must address it now,” he said.The former minister spoke at the graduation ceremony of 290 Renewed Energy Serving Humanity (RESH) volunteers who completed intensive eight-week psychosocial counseling courses in Paynesville.He noted that officers of national security apparatus, especially those that have the statutory mandate to man the various ports of entry to the country are putting the future of Liberia at stake, because they neglect their responsibilities.“These narcotic substances that are destroying our brothers and sisters are coming through airports, sea ports and other points of entry into our country and we have men and women who have pledged to defend our country, supposed to be or are at these points… but what are they doing? Are they compromising the interests of the land? I think they too are traumatized and they need rehabilitation or psychosocial counseling,” Ngafuan said. Ngafuan acknowledged that the fight against illegal drug trafficking would be a herculean task, given the fragility of the Liberian state, especially when security officers, who are supposed to be protecting the interest of the state, are the ones who are compromising the future of the nation’s youth.He noted that the graduates have a huge task at hand, which has to do with rehabilitating thousands of Liberians who are currently undergoing some mental pressures. The young people, many of who have fallen in the grips of narcotic substances, made up the bulk of this number Ngafuan said, adding, “Knowledge is nothing without its application, therefore the new skills acquired must be used to help Liberia.”“It is your duty to rescue your brothers and sisters and return them to their various families. You have gained this knowledge to have an impact and I’m of the strongest conviction that you will,” he told the graduates.He told the volunteers that by doing this, they would save Liberia, whose future—in spite of surviving all the odds of recent years, is being dented by the impact of illegal drug traffickers.He called on the state security to get more robust and tackle drug trafficking in the country. “It now appears that every community in Liberia has a little ghetto somewhere and we must fight to bring these to their knees,” he said.He frowned on Liberians, especially women who know the pain of child bearing but are trading in these substances. “You are contributing to the destruction of your country more,” he said, “Those who make profit at the expense of others are also armed robbers because they are making armed robbers by what they sell.”It may be recalled that in 2013, the Commander of the Presidential Motorcade, Perry Dolo was arrested while conveying drugs in one of the president’s convoy vehicles with the inscription “ESCORT ONE on behalf of an unnamed notorious Nigerian illegal drug peddler.Arrested along with Dolo at the time were another LNP Officer Cyrus Slewion, an unnamed Sierra Leonean, a Guinean national and another Liberian.Dolo, together with four other men were charged with drug trafficking and criminal facilitation—helping to import 10bags of narcotics valued nearly LD$3.7 million about US$50,000 into the country and was found guilty on all counts by a jury on Friday, August 8. Dolo was subsequently sentenced but was granted executive clemency by President Sirleaf after a little over two years later.Some of these drugs barons are shielded by people in high places in the various security agencies of the country and other governmental agencies, according to informed sources. Top government officials, according to information, are highly protective of traffickers who are arrested by lower ranking LNP and BIN officers.In 2015, while using undercover agents, the United States DEA in collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA) nabbed some notorious drug traffickers in Liberia with Mr. Fomba Sirleaf, son of President Sirleaf at the center of this operation.Sirleaf nabbed Chigbo Umeh, a Nigerian who was working on behalf of a Colombian drug cartel, and wanted 700kg of the cocaine arrive in Monrovia en route to Accra, Ghana—a deal they promised to pay the NSA Director and his team US$200,000. The DEA and NSA had been trying to bring down this cocaine trafficking ring in Liberia since 2009 but finally got the men and had them sent to the United States.Many illegal drug dealers consider Liberia as a safe transit point to convey their illegal drugs to Western Europe and North America.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: November 28, 2019

Olympic cheats evicted

first_imgSports editor S Kannan.The London Olympics suffered a huge jolt as eight women badminton players were disqualified by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on accusations of cheating and “not using one’s best efforts to win” in the doubles event.The ugly incident happened at the Wembley Arena on Tuesday night when two pairs from South Korea and one each from Indonesia and China made a series of unbelievable errors, hitting the shuttle repeatedly into the net, as if they were novices on court.It was very much “spot fixing” in badminton and on a stage as big as the Olympics.Just after all hell broke loose, India appealed against the result of a Group B match between Japan and Chinese Taipei, alleging it was not played in the right spirit and resulted in the elimination of Indian pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa. The appeal was turned down, but India have asked the BWF to review its decision.”We had put in a protest this morning and the BWF has come back saying that they didn’t find any bias or anything beyond the ordinary in the matches. We have filed an appeal to review that decision,” said India’s coach Pullela Gopichand.Even as fans jeered the night match between China’s top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, the referee got off his chair to warn the players.He had sensed that with just four shots being the longest rally in the first game, something was amiss. Spectators also complained that the players were hitting the shuttle aimlessly and were deliberately serving poorly.advertisementAccording to the BWF, the other guilty players are Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.After the introduction of the league phase for the first time in badminton at the Olympics, there was scope for teams to play dirty. But nobody expected that teams which perform at the highest level would indulge in such acts.London organising committee (LOCOG) chief Sebastian Coe was aghast. “I was at the Wembley Arena earlier on Tuesday as the British team was playing and the atmosphere was good,” said Coe.He described the behaviour by the players as ‘depressing’ and ‘unacceptable’ at his daily briefing.”Who wants to sit through something like that?” added Coe.Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta said their formal protest was rejected because of lack of evidence.”On behalf of the BAI, we had lodged a protest saying the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei was also fixed and Japan deliberately lost that match just to have a better draw in the next round, resulting in India not getting a chance to qualify for the next round,” Akhilesh said.”We are shocked and surprised that our protest has been rejected. A day before, we had beaten Chinese Taipei and they have qualified and we could not go through because Japan lost deliberately.”Jwala and Ashwini missed out on a quarter-final berth by a difference of just one point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-16, 21-15 in their last Group B match, after tying with the Japanese and Taipei combinations on the number of wins.The quick action from the BWF came in for praise from all quarters, as before this, badminton was always seen as a clean sport.It required no investigation to look into the despicable acts on the court as the players were accused of “not using best efforts” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport”.One of the officials with the Indian badminton team who spoke to Mail Today and did not want to be named said: “It’s a shame such acts happen in the Olympic arena. Badminton has been a clean sport all along and the reputation of the sport has been tarnished.”The bad news for the fans who watched the farce is their tickets will not be refunded. Paul Deighton, the LOCOG chief executive, said spectators had been able to watch another match in the session adding: “You get in to all sorts of strange precedents if people aren’t satisfied with what they see – it is very grey and dangerous territory.”South Korean coach Sung Han-kook blamed the Chinese. “If they played right, this wouldn’t happen,” he said. “So we did the same.”last_img read more