By Friday Idachaba
Lokoja, Oct. 7, 2020 The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kogi State Command, has destroyed Cannabis sativa farms spanning over four kilometres in Agbokete community of Igalamela-Adolu Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Alfred Adewunmi, Commander, NDLEA, Kogi while speaking on Wednesday in Kara community forest at the end of the operation on Wednesday, said the farms were discovered through intelligence gathering.
Adewunmi said the cannabis plantations were worth over N1.5 million and would have caused the state and the nation monumental damages to health, especially among youths who should be assets to the nation.
The Commander who ensured that over 40 hectares of cannabis plantation were totally destroyed said that the topography of the adjourning farms stretching over four kilometres portended a lurking danger for the nation.
He condemned the activities of some individuals who were desperate and would stop at nothing to make quick money without considering the consequences on the larger society.
Adewunmi who went into the forest with 80 NDLEA personnel and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) expressed shock over the discovery describing the plantation as “huge and enormous.”
“It is an enormous plantation of cannabis sativa. It is not just one single farm land.
“All of you have been in my entourage and we have walked within the farm which is over four kilometers and are still within the farm.
“Our assumption really had been that Kogi, even though surrounded by some States that are notorious in Cannabis Sativa cultivation, was simply a transit point because of the strategic location.
“However, to discover that within Kogi we can have a plantation of this huge proportion is something that I must tell you, has shocked me to my bone marrows,” he said.
The commander commended the State Government for its support in sustaining the fight against illicit drug trafficking, adding that the command would not relent in ensuring that Kogi became a drug free state.
He said that the prime suspect and owner of one of the farms, Ameh Joseph, would be prosecuted on completion of investigations.
He also said that efforts were on to arrest owners of other farms who fled on seeing the NDLEA operatives.
The 29-year-old suspect, Joseph in an interview with newsmen accepted ownership of a section of the farms, saying that he ventured into cannabis farming as a result of economic hardship .
The suspect explained that he had once been employed as farm manager in charge of a Cannabis farm at Ogbese in Ondo State in 1995 with an annual salary of not less than N100,000.