Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja
The Kogi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has destroyed a cannabis sativa (India Hemp) farm at Oketepe in Okula community, about 10 kilometres from Ejule in Ofu Local Government of Kogi State.
The suspected cannabis sativa farmer, Mr. Clement Akor, however begged the NDLEA operatives to kill him and spare his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
Addressing journalists after the destruction of the farm, the state Commander of the NDLEA, Mr. Alfred Adewumi, decried the increasing wave of illicit use and cultivation of cannabis sativa in the state
Adewumi said that the two suspects were arrested through intelligence gathering by operatives of his command.
He noted that the latest breakthrough in the fight against illicit use of drug in the state came three days after the command had arrested the duo of Enduarance Samson and Abah Sunday for alleged possession of 36.2 kilogrammes wrap of cannabis sativa.
“Seeing, they say, is believing. What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football field but together. Just look around. That is the huge expanse. We just left the first farm, which is equally a huge cannabis plantation.
“This is very unfortunate. I am worried about this unfortunate development. I have thought that Kogi State will not descend to this point. As things stands today, it will be direct self-denial to begin to say that Kogi State is not planting cannabis sativa because the evidence suggests that there is high plantation of cannabis sativa in the state. Sadly, Kogi State can rank among the states where you find cannabis sativa plantations.
“We will not relent in fighting against illicit use of drug; that is why we took the fight to their doorstep. Kogi State is the gateway to many other states in the northern, southern, eastern and western parts of this country.
“I had promised at the point of my deployment to Kogi State that I won’t give room for anybody to turn Kogi State to a drug cultivation state. And because of that, we have spread out our tentacles to reach out as far as possible with intelligence gathering and the result is what you are seeing today,” Adewumi averred.
The suspect, a 42-year- old father of six children, who hailed from Enabo village in Ankpa Local Government Area of the state was arrested by the NDLEA alongside his accomplice, Mr. David Ameh.
Akor, who said that he learnt the trade in Owo, Ondo State, told journalists that he had invested so much in the business and could not afford to lose it.
He agreed that he was aware of the law that banned the sale of cannabis sativa.
“I am the owner of this farm. I learnt it in Yoruba land. When I cultivated one last year, it was stolen. So, it is this year that I bought seeds from Yoruba land to plant new ones before I was caught.
“Indian hemp business is luck. I can get many bags from this farm. I do sell one bag for N20,000, depending on the area I am selling it. It could me more. I spent N12,000 for labour in cultivating this farm. It is better you people kill me than destroy this farmland,” he said.
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant grow up to this level. In the next two weeks, I am supposed to harvest it. Now you people have come here to destroy it. Just kill me, so that I won’t see you people destroying what I have laboured for. I am looking for money because I am an illiterate. I don’t want to engage in armed robbery or kidnapping; that is why I am into this business of Indian hemp.”