Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Obasanjo: West Africa must confront political weaknesses

21 August 2014, 13:14

Accra - West Africa must openly confront its political and governance weaknesses to curb the growing drug trade in the region, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday.

"West Africa is no longer only a transit zone of drugs but an attractive destination where pushers take advantage of the weak political system to perpetuate their trade," Obasanjo, who chairs the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD), said while presenting his report to Ghana's President John Mahama.

"We believe that we should confront openly the political and governance weaknesses which the traffickers exploit," Obasanjo said.

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan set up the commission last year to explore ways to stem the increasing trafficking of drugs and its use in the region.

West Africa has long produced and consumed cannabis but its collection of weak states has over the last decade become a major transit zone for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe. Heroin from Asia is also passing through the region.

Government policies

Drugs are undermining the stability of West African countries and their development, "eating not only into the normal life of our youth, but it's eating into our political system and governance", Obasanjo said.

In its report released in June, the commission called on governments in West Africa to decriminalise drug use and treat the issue as a health problem.

Obasanjo said because of the amount of money involved, "drug barons can buy, they can do, and they can undo - buy officials in the military, security and pervert justice".

Annan said wrong-headed governmental policies by leaders and influential people in society have destroyed many more lives in West Africa than drug use.

WACD has 11 members including former President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde and former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kojo.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
China to help Kenya fight high le...

China observed that if left unchecked, corruption could see the country degenerate into lawlessness. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Signs that he is seeing someone e...

When a man wants to be with you, he will always create time to be with you. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Spat between DP Ruto and Boniface...

A close associate of the DP, Hon Njogu Barua made an alarming comment on live TV Tuesday morning. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Matatu driver who drugged, robbed...

The driver of a Nissan matatu who over the weekend drugged and robbed a female passenger in Nairobi has been charged. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Heavy police contingent deployed ...

More police officers were on Monday deployed at Likoni in Mombasa County in a security operation to nab members of the ‘Wakali Kwanza’ and ‘Mtalia’ criminal gangs who have been terrorizing locals in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Man released on Presidential amne...

He was caught taking money from a church offering bag at Ol Jabet Independent Pentecostal Church in Laikipia West on October 23. Read more...