NDLEA: cannabis cultivation threatens security
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, has said cannabis cultivation is a threat to the nation’s security.
Giade spoke yesterday when the NDLEA destroyed 50 hectares of cannabis plantation at Epele Forest Reserve in Ondo State.
He vowed to prosecute forest guards who turned a blind eye to criminal activities and anyone who connived with cannabis cultivators.
The destruction followed a special operation involving 70 NDLEA officers from the Southwest Commands and 50 labourers.
Giade said: “The NDLEA will not hesitate to prosecute any forest guard who aids and abets cannabis cultivators. Cannabis constitutes a serious threat to security and the NDLEA is determined to eradicate narcotic drugs. Cannabis use can induce rape, unprotected sex, political violence, murder, militancy and many more.
“This is the second cannabis farm destruction within the past one month. This shall be a continuous exercise until cannabis cultivation is eradicated.
“The first one was 184 hectares while this is 50 hectares. We are looking forward with optimism to a time when farmers will abandon cannabis for only food and cash crops.”
The NDLEA Director of Operations and Investigation, Mr. Olugbenga Mabo, led the operation which was attended by the Ondo State Commander, Mr. Walter Nicholas; Assistant Director, Operations, Mr. Fred Ezeora; Ondo State Assistant Commander Operations, Mr. Femi Agboalu and other principal officers.
Mabo noted that cannabis farm destruction is a proactive strategy to cut off cannabis supply which affects the image of the country.
He said: “We achieve more when we destroy cannabis farms than waiting to intercept the drug after it had been harvested by the cultivators.
“When citizens get caught for trafficking in cannabis outside the country, the image of Nigeria is affected. Let me commend the officers that participated in this assignment because, they walked for over four hours and worked in the rain all night long.
“They crossed over many rivers and surmounted several obstacles to get the job done. Drug control is a hazardous job but we are working very hard to overcome our logistic challenges such as inadequate vehicles and funds” the director stated.
One of the suspects whose farm was among those destroyed, Charles Osanebi, told NDLEA investigators that he would have harvested a minimum 40 bags of cannabis from his farm.
He said: “This is my first time of cultivating cannabis in this forest. I was introduced into cannabis cultivation because I needed money.”
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