*Destroys 395.3 hectares of cannabis plantations
By Albert Akpor
THE war against hard drugs in the country seemed to be assuming a fever-height crescendo with the destruction of a large expanse of farm land used for the cultivation of cannabis sativa, otherwise known as India hemp. The farm lands used for the cultivation of the prohibitive plants were destroyed across the country including Ekiti and Delta states respectively between January and September this year.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ahmadu Giade who reiterated his commitment to aggressive drug supply control in the country stated that with the destruction of 395.3 hectares of cannabis plantations in the past nine months, his agency was poised to give pedlars of hard drugs and cultivators of the deadly plants the fight of their lives.
Addressing his Commanders at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos, the drug czar emphasized the need for his officers and men to be on the alert at all times with a view to winning the war against hard drugs in the country. He consequently placed States and special Area Commands on red alert with a view to eradicating illicit drugs and other substance abuse; particularly as preparation for general elections intensifies.
According to the anti-drug agency boss, the directive is imperative as it is the Agency’s statutory responsibility to take necessary measures at eradicating cannabis and other illicit drugs in the country. He said, “We have a responsibility under the law to eradicate narcotic drugs from our society.
As the country prepares for election next year, our contribution is to effectively curb supply control. You must remain apolitical and discharge your duties professionally. Work very hard and ensure that illicit drugs like cannabis are difficult to come by. I am pleased with the cannabis plantations so far destroyed but we must step up the tempo.”
Continuing, Giade said, “The link between illicit drugs and crime is so strong that the Agency is prepared for a total war against drug traffickers in the country. And the recent clean bill of health given to us by the U. S, in our efforts to eradicate the trafficking in hard drugs and other illicit substances, that alone, should serve as the needed catalyst to drive us for the best at all times.
We have been receiving congratulatory messages from our collaborators especially for the removal of Nigeria from the drug Majors List by United States and it is imperative that we sustain our drug control efforts. Our duty is crucial in crime reduction because hoodlums and criminals rely on narcotics to perpetrate havoc. Strict adherence to this proactive strategy will starve drug users of supply as we yearn for a drug free society.”
The anti-narcotic helmsman says having found the key to effective drug control, there should be no obstacle to good result. “I know that the greatest obstacles in drug control remain compromise and non-performance. As usual, I will ensure that we are guided by the rules of engagement in our operations. This is very crucial because the target is victory and nothing else” he maintained.