By Mammy Saidykhan

The Chairperson of Journalists against Illicit Drugs Trafficking and Organized Crime, JAIDTOC, has said that the involvement of the media in the fight against drugs could help the country address its illicit drugs challenge.

Modou Kanteh stated this on Tuesday at the official launch of the group which seeks to partner with the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia to combat illicit drugs and organized crime.

“The involvement of the media in the fight against illicit drugs trafficking is important. This is simply because journalists are the movers and shakers of society,” Kanteh said at TANGO where the event was held.

According to him, if The Gambia as a country is to be successful in the fight against illicit drug trafficking and substance abuse, the media needs to be seen as a major stakeholder.

Kanteh stated that if the media continues to report on the dangers of illicit drugs trafficking and organised crime, there will be some level of significance and attention by the public.

“If the media continually report issues of illicit drugs such issues would no doubt help shape how the public perceives and interprets drugs related issues in our communities,” he added.

The Director General of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia, DLEAG, Bakary Gassama, dilated on the negative impacts of drugs saying “many lives have been lost; women widowed; children orphaned; families separated; careers destroyed; prospect and potential of bright youths destroyed.”

Gassama applauded the initiative and assured of his office’s commitment to work with media.

“We must therefore join hands in combating those trading in these illicit substances in our communities,” he said.

He added: “Let us work together, let us spread the message about the dangers associated with drug trafficking and abuse… The more we talk about it in our radio programs, social media platforms, televisions and newspapers it will create more awareness and help people make positive choices.”