From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday embarked on destruction of over four Kilometres stretch of Cannabis Sativa farms worth N1.
The State Commander, Alfred Adewumi, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists at the farm center located at Kara Forest in Agbokete Community , stated that Kogi state was gradually being turned into a producer of the illicit drug.
Adewunmi said he was worried about the changing status of Kogi State from a transit point to cultivating State of illicit drug.
” I want to tell you that I am astounded, shocked and perplexed that something as huge and enormous as this can be discovered in Kogi State”.
“Our assumption is that Kogi State , even though it is surrounded by some states that are notorious for cannabis Sativa cultivation, is just simply a transit point because of her strategic location, however, to discover that within Kogi State we can have plantation of this huge proportion is something that has shocked me to the marrow,”he added
Adewumi told Nesmen that the startling discovery was as result of intelligence gathered by the operatives of the command, who had placed the suspect on surveillance and was subsequently arrested .
” I will simply tell you that it is very enormous plantation of cannabis sativa .It is not just one single farmland . And of course, all of you have been on my entourage and we have walked within farms for over four kilometres and we are still within the farms .So to begin to describe what I have seen today is simply to tell you that I am shocked that Kogi State is now being used as a place where Cannabis Sativa is being cultivated so extensively
“I must tell you that what we have here is far in excess of the 10- hectares of cannabis sativa farmland discovered earlier on , in excess of the 7.5 hactares of Cannabis Sativa we discovered sometimes in mid September. If you put all of these farms together you will see we will be talking of over 35 hectares of Cannabis Sativa plantation. To begin to talk about the market value , to be frank with you we are talking about more than N1.5billion of cultivated illicit drugs here “, he added
Adewumi commended the Kogi state government for the support given to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Kogi State to even be able to embark on this destruction exercise, adding that without the support of the State government, the command wouldn’t have been able to achieve this great feat in combating drug problems in the state.
He stated that the Suspect, Ameh Joseph will soon be charged to Court, appealing that those involved in cannabis sativa should desist as the command would leave no stone unturned towards ridding the state of illicit use and cultivation of drugs.
The suspect , Ameh Joseph in an interview with Newsmen said he was the owner of a section of the farm, stressing that he ventured into cannabis sativa business when he had economic crisis .
The suspect who was full of regret said he would never go back to the cannabis business again, warning other youths not to involve in any illegal business because it will backfire one day.