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21.05.2009 Politics

Mills was praised by many in UK over his search - Koku Anyidoho

By myjoyonline
Mills was praised by many in UK over his search - Koku Anyidoho

The Communications Director at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho says president Mills received applause in the United Kingdom during his visit for allowing himself to be searched at the airport.

“Every government official we met on the trip to the UK, the Head of Organised Crime Unit, the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the Queen's representative, everybody was full of praise for the president.”

Mr Anyidoho said the action of the president was a strong policy statement “that look if I am able to submit myself to such checks, let no government official flaunt his diplomatic passport in the face of drug enforcement agencies and say that because I am government official don't check me.”

The president en route to the United Kingdom submitted himself to bodily search at the Kotoka International Airport as a demonstration of his commitment to fighting drugs in the country.

Although the action was hailed by government officials, its critics said the action cheapened the presidency.

A known critic of the government, Malik Kwaku Baako described the search on the president as “empty symbolism.”

But speaking to Joy FM's Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Mr. Anyidoho said the action was “a very loud policy statement, it doesn't have to come in the form of legislation.”

Referring to the seizure of 71 kilograms of cocaine at the Tema Port, Mr. Anyidoho said it was good news that drugs were now coming into the country in small quantities.

“Some time ago the cocaine was coming in tonnes (but) this is just 75 kilograms, it is virtually little.”

He said measures had been put in place to combat the drug menace albeit he could not mention any.

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko said it was too early for anybody to claim credit for the reported successes in the fight against the menace.

He said it was unfortunate that the National Democratic Congress was still waxing in the pre-election rhetoric and propaganda.

Mr Otchere Darko said the Container Project that busted the cocaine at Tema was already in operation before the NDC came into office.

“You can't fight drugs by just pure rhetoric,” he stated

According to him, while the government had cut the budget for the drug enforcement agencies, it was claiming to be fighting drug trafficking.

While political will as professed by the government is critical, it must be backed by policy and resources, he observed.

Story by Malik Abass Daaby/Myjoyonline

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