Addiction and drug consumption in Sierra Leone and Africa as a whole started during the nefarious and ominous slave trade era, when European slave masters penetrated the continent in search of robust Africans to work in their sugar and rice plantations in the new world which later became known as the United States of America.
This article is in no way related to the ideology and philosophy of Pan Africanism
but it’s a retrospective view of how those who later posed as civilized members of the human society, influenced people on a ‘so called dark continent’ of Africa to become callous and heartless in dealing with their fellow Africans, by intoxicating them with drugs.
This is to inform President Ernest Koroma that I was not too impressed by his bold initiative to have entrusted the nearly $200 million worth of cocaine to IMATT and UN officers for safe keeping instead of our national security apparatus. That clearly contradicts his assurance to the people of this country that police and the ONS are capable of handling the matter.
The President might as well tell us that, he does not have confidence in our Police and the ONS , who are charged with issues regarding internal security in the country, but entrusting it to forces of our former colonial masters, is like entrusting a rat to a cat for safe keeping.
For the mere fact that the cocaine plane came from the West, where cocaine farms are established with their mighty barons ready to use every resources to abort any matter that hinges on their image and reputation, it could have been prudent to use our own national security authorities to do all the tests here together with whatever investigation into the cocaine saga.
Of course the consumption rate of cocaine in the West is high as compared to Africa.
Until very recently when the country’s Information Minister I B Kargbo told journalists that they are going to utilize the retroactive drug laws to expedite the ongoing cocaine trial, the matter had been unnecessarily delayed on the grounds of technicality or insufficient evidence.
The Attorney General Serry Kamal was reputed to have said that, no charge hasn’t been effected for the cocaine suspects, but only charges for the unlawful use of our air space and possession of fire arms were effected.
It has been said that ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ I just hope that dragging on of the cocaine matter, which in my opinion is more pronounced and prominent to any use of air space and possession of fire arm would not end up as the celebrated ‘diamond turn stone matter.’
My premises of judgment could not be unconnected to the submission of AIG of Police Francis Munu who is on record to have said they are yet to prove that the plane load substance was cocaine and not empty powder, adding that they have taken the substance to United Kingdom for forensic test while they continue investigations here.
The head of the Anti drug agency in Sierra Leone Kandeh Bangura also buttressed the above fact – in fact he admitted that we have the device to test the alleged cocaine substance but they still sent it to Europe for test.
My question is what if those rich drug barons networking in Europe and America used all their contacts and influences out there to manipulate the so called sophisticated scientific devices to transform that cocaine into a powder similar to cocaine and convert the actual cocaine substance into their own use what would happen?
The use of terrific and horrific methodologies, to captivate our local chiefs through their nefarious and inhuman trade in gun powder, tobacco, alcoholic and other drugs in the form of barter system in return for African slaves contributed in no small way to the underdevelopment of the African continent.
Before the advent of the slave trade, there existed domestic slave trade that was the time when those indebted to their superiors were held in servitude to assist with farm work and other domestic jobs for a specific period of time.
The colonial masters came later with dangerous drugs which our chiefs then very much cherished, and by taking part in it they became callous if not heartless in dealing with their subjects.
With that I have no regret whatsoever to say the root of some conflicts in Africa could be attributed to the West who centuries back used drugs and rum to lure our Chiefs into trading our brothers and sisters to work on their farms prior to the industrial revolution in Europe and America.
It has even been argued from some quarters in Africa that the potential Africans were taken across the high seas and in the process some of them died as a result of the unfavorable weather on the high seas.
Had those people stayed on the continent, Africa would have been a developed continent because they would have used their potential to develop the continent instead of Europe and America.
I am sure it was after the abolition of the slave trade in 1772 by Chief Justice Murray Mansfield in England, when those former slave masters who were purported to commence trading in agriculture and natural resources embarked on the cultivation of cocaine farms all over Europe and America to make more money.
That was backed by the mass production of arms and ammunitions to set nations against nations in Africa and to fan civil and rebel wars in Africa.
This is very true to the word of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said on his last visit to Sierra Leone before he retired that he would only advise African subscribers to discontinue their subscriptions to the manufacturers of weapons in Europe as they were unable to stop them, for fear of creating mass unemployment out there.
The only solution to all the barbaric rebel wars and drug trafficking is for the west to stop manufacturing killer weapons and cultivating narcotic farms, but I know they can’t because their industries would be rendered useless.
That was the more reason why I was flabbergasted when AIG Munu and Kandeh Bangura said they have decided to send the substances to UK for forensic test as if none is available here.
Do Kandeh and Munu want to tell us that our own forensic devices are substandard to undertake the test? Or do they want us to believe that manufacturers of narcotics do not take part in the product they manufacture, to know it’s quality before putting it on the market?
With all these inferiority complexes, Sierra Leoneans are still living in the pre-colonial era with little or no rational thought to improvement on our lot.
We actually need transformation as a sovereign state to do things our own way in the African perspective to apply African solution to African problem.
If we don’t change as a country we will always dance, to the harsh conditionalities
of the IMF ,World Bank and other donor agencies and hence continue indebtedness to the west.
I would have loved to explain to who so ever is seeking special interest in the cocaine to offer something substantial to Sierra Leone’s post conflict development and peace consolidation before delivering to them to diagnose in their laboratory abroad where you have principal manufacturers and consumers. Their interest is not national but one to exonerate their nationals and amass wealth from the whole saga.
By Solomon Rogers