LIBERIA: A Passionate Call to Rehabilitate and Reintegrate Disadvantaged Youth (Zogos)
By Francis G. Boayue |
As a passionate Liberian youth and student activist of the University of Liberia, I am urging the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be very proactive than ever before in the eradication of cocaine, opium and other antidepressant drugs from the Liberia market and hideouts in order to rescue young people who are usually dependent on these harmful substances.
Liberia is fast losing some of its brilliant young minds to drugs and if no intervention is made in a more expeditious and concrete manner, Liberia could be a den of fierce “zogos” who could one day terrorize our entire nation. This is a fact because armed robbery is becoming prevalent in all 15 counties of our nation.
The abuse of drugs in Liberia has reached crisis point and a sustained mechanism to abort this growing social misdeed is a matter of national imperative? Must our society be a hub for drugs and addicts? With this prevailing and looming danger, Liberia’s peace could be jeopardized and its democratic gains reversed.
Instead of branding them as “Zogos”, we must get them off our streets back to rehabilitation centers and vocational schools. They are victims of societal disorder and breakdown. Our society must take the responsibility to normalize their condition by transforming these addicts into productive citizens once more. A pre-war social revolution is a MUST!
The nation has to continuously neglect them or risk an insecure future. It is time for “Zogos” to be revived and taken of the streets of Monrovia and other parts of Liberia. No Liberian youth wants to be labeled as a “Zogo” for the rest of his/her life. Many of them want that loving care and concern that would enable them to leave the street(s) and be labeled as assets towards the rapid growth and development of Liberia.
If the lives of the “Zogos” are transformed, the country stands to benefit immensely. After an intensive assessment done and proven, approximately 80% of Liberian Youth are considered to be zogos due to antidepressant drugs that have led them to being wanderers of the streets. They are part of the vulnerables in our society.
And they even become harmful to other peaceful citizens especially during night hours. This is more than worrisome! Is there any future for Liberia with this rising rate of Zogos in Liberia? Our government and international partners need to immediately step in to rescue some of these brothers and sisters from the streets and find a possible way forward for them.
The Communities, Churches, Mosques, Civil Society Organization, etc. must get involved with finding sustainable remedy(ies) to this national dilemma or malady which is posing serious threat to our collective security and destiny.
About The Author: Francis G. Boayue is a young patriot and passionate Liberian student activist who has dedicated His Life to positively impact the lives of abandoned/disadvantaged youth in Liberia. Francis is a Junior Student at the University of Liberia studying Public Administration Major and Mass Communication Minor. You can contact Francis via these info: Email: email@example.com; Telephone: 0770660416/0880625951