Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ekiti State Command has destroyed a total of four hectares of farmland of Indian Hemp popularly known as Canabis Sativa at Ire-Ekiti Forest, in Oye Local Government Area of the state.
Similarly, in the same operation led by the duo of State Deputy Commander in charge of Narcotics, Operation and Investigation, Mr Kabir Ibrahim and Mr Isaac Fadare, a Principal Staff In-Charge of Operations in the Ekiti State Command, the agency seized a total of 1,475 kilogramme of Canabis Sativa.
During the operation, the agency also arrested eight suspects, including a middle-aged woman, in three different farmlands located about 20 kilometers away from Ire-Ekiti.
Speaking shortly after the illicit drugs were destroyed by the team, the Deputy State Commander of Narcotics, Operation and Investigation, Mr Kabir Ibrahim, said the agency acted on a tip-off from a reliable source that there were Indian Hemp plantations at the forest in Ire-Ekiti.
“‘Immediately, we received the information, we swung into action and identified the three farmlands, where we recovered a total of 1,465 kilogrammes of Canabis and arrested some suspects, who are currently at the Command headquarters in Ado-Ekiti.
“The farms which are located about 20 Kilometres away from the town, spanned over four hectares of land mass,” Ibrahim said.
The NDLEA boss, therefore, advised Ekiti residents to use their fertile land to cultivate food crops and other grains, instead of Canabis.
Reiterating the readiness of the agency to tackle the menace of illicit drugs in the state, the NDLEA boss, warned land owners in the area to desist from giving out their land to people for the cultivation of Canabis
He equally warned other culprits and those still hiding in the bush to desist, saying sooner, the full wrath of the laws will catch up with them.
Similarly, the Principal Staff In-Charge of Operations in the Ekiti NDLEA, Command, Mr Isaac Fadare, advised that land owners in the state should cultivate other legitimate crops, so as to add to the Gross Domestic Products,(GDP) of the state, rather than giving it out for the cultivation of Indian Hemp.
In an interview with one of the suspects, Mr Felix Nwachukwu, who was arrested alongside his girlfriend, Jane Ekpo, he described himself as a victim of circumstances.
The 53-year-old man said he was introduced into the business of cultivating Indian hemp just this year 2022, by a friend who is at large, before he was arrested by the operatives of the agency while harvesting it.