By Boluwaji Obahopo – Lokoja
Kogi State Command, National Drug Law and Enforcement NDLEA on Wednesday destroyed the largest Cannabis Sativa farms stretching over four KM of land in the State.
NDLEA State Commander, Mr. Alfred Adewumi disclosed this while speaking with journalists during the destruction of the farm at Kara Forest in Agbokete Community, of Igalamela/Odolu LGA of the state.
Mr. Adewumi said Kogi state is gradually becomimg a producer of the illicit drug, said the destroyed farm is evaluated at N1.5 billion.
Adewunmi expressed worry over the changing status of Kogi State from a transit point to cultivating State of illicit drug, stressed he could not believe what he had seen on the farm.
His words,”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 surrounded by some states that are notorious for cannabis Sativa cultivation, is just simply a transit point because of her strategic location. To discover that within Kogi State we can have a plantation of this huge proportion is something that has shocked me to the marrow,” he added
Adewumi said the startling discovery was a 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 a 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”.
He explained that the farm looks like it was a community business, as it beats logic for over four killometres of arable land to be dedicated to the cultivation of the illicit drug without the community raising eyebrows.
“I must tell you that what we have here is far in excess of the 7.5 hectares 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 N1.5 billion of cultivated illicit drugs here”, he added
Adewumi commended the Kogi State government for the support given to the agency to carry out their duties
He stated that the cannabis farm owner, Ameh Joseph will soon be charged to Court, adding those involved in cannabis Sativa should desist as the command will leave no stone unturned towards ridding the state of illicit use and cultivation of drugs.
The suspect, Ameh Joseph however said he was the owner of a section of the farms and not the entire farms, stressed that he only ventured into the business when he had an economic crisis.
Joseph pointed out that he had once been employed as farm manager in charge of cannabis Sativa at Ogbese in Ondo State in 1995 with a yearly salary of N100, 000 before he stopped to ventured into good business; until recently when it nose-dived and he has to embraced cannabis Sativa as an alternative.
The suspect who was full of regret said he will never go back to the cannabis business again, warned other youths not to involve in any illegal business because it will backfire one day.