The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in Ogun State has begun the destruction of 30 hectares of weed farms suspected to be cannabis sativa in Odogbolu Local Government Area.
The destruction of the farm inside the Aiyepe forest reserve was carried out by the agency personnel supervised by the state commander, Bala Fagge.
NDLEA, which had acted on a tip-off, also arrested five of the eight suspects said to own the weed farm.
Speaking at the site, Bala Fagge said his command had declared total war on cannabis cultivation, even as the command got information on the farm through sources.
He said the destruction of the hemp farm was meant to serve as deterrent and make intending growers to keep off Ogun State, as he stressed that the method was to ensure that no illegal drug enters the market.
He said it would be counter- productive if the command had waited for the perpetrators’ to harvest the weed, hence the immediate destruction of the cannabis.
“This is a system we have developed to follow them to the farm because if we allow the cannabis to enter the society, we will not be able to mop up 40 or 60 per cent of it, but when you go to the farm, you are sure of its total destruction so that no cannabis enters the market”.
Fagge further said that the five suspects arrested were already giving useful information on how to arrest the others at large, stressing that they will be prosecuted in the court. Fagge solicited the support of the people, especially land owners, who were advised to scrutinise prospective farmers before renting their land for any purpose.
Speaking, the Supervisor for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Odogbolu Local Government, Mr. Faith Idowu expressed the council’s readiness to support the anti drug agency in stopping the cultivation of cannabis in the state.
Commenting on several efforts to discourage the cultivation and trading in illicit drugs, Fagge said the command has seized more than 3, 560 kg of cannabis sativa, while 46 farmlands of various sizes were destroyed from January 2013 till date.
He said the command arrested 72 suspects of which 53 have been prosecuted, while 23 cases are pending in the Federal High Court.
The NDLEA boss said that his officers will go to another undisclosed farm for the destruction of cannabis sativa found there.