By Tola Gbadamosi
The Ondo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday destroyed 110,542 tonnes of Indian Hemp and other illicit drugs with a vow that there will be no hiding place for cannabis cultivators in the state.
The drugs were set ablazed by the National Chairman of the agency in the presence of many dignitaries including the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, along Oda road, Akure.
While speaking at the event, Akeredolu represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale said his administration will do everything possible to prevent use of illicit drugs in the state as well as give total cooperation to the NDLEA
Akeredolu commended the NDLEA for saving the youth from drug abuse, having seized large quantities of cannabis which he said could have been disastrous if allowed to be released into the society.
He said his administration will embark on massive sensitisation and education of youths and the general public on the inherent dangers of drugs abuse in the society.
National Chairman of the agency, Col Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd), who decried the large quantity of cannabis in the State said the state remained one of the six states in Nigeria where cannabis is cultivated in large quantity, adding that the act has caused serious deforestation of virgin forest.
Abdallah, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Femi Oloruntoba said the activities of cannabis farmers have grievous effects on the state and Nigeria at large.
He said dealers in “skuchies”, caught in Ondo State have been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment by the Federal High Court and that the agency is on the trail of other like minded dealers to arrest and prosecute them.
The NDLEA boss, who appealed to the state government to assist the agency in nipping the menace in the bud, charged parents to be alive to their responsibility of moulding the character of their children and wards.
He suggested that the surest way to reverse the ugly trend is through Alternative Development Programme where Cannabis farmers are supported with incentives that attracts them to the cultivation of legitimate and economically beneficial crops, saying the United Nations’ idea has been working in neighbouring states.
State Commander of the agency, H. A. Gagara, said the drug war should not be seen as the exclusive responsibility of the NDLEA but for everybody.
He said the exhibits were seized from people whose stock in trade is the destruction of Nigeria, tainting the image of the good people of Ondo State and that of Nigeria at large.
Gagara said the destruction of the large quantity and concluded court cases is a demonstration of the agency’s total and avowed commitment towards ensuring a drug-free society despite all odds.
He thanked the Ondo State Government, other security agencies, civil society organisations, traditional rulers and others for the success recorded by the agency.
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