Picture of the two suspects and the NDLEA official at the cannabis farm
By Boluwaji Obahopo – Lokoja
A suspected cannabis farmer, Clement Akor, has begged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA to take his life instead of destroying his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
Akor, a 42 years old father of six children from Enabo village in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State was arrested by the Kogi State command of NDLEA alongside his accomplice David Ameh.
Akor who claimed he had invested so much in the business and cannot afford to lose it to the arms of the law said he learnt the trade in Owo, Ondo State.
The prime suspect who cried profusely to stop men of the NDLEA led by its commander, Alfred Adewumi, from destroying his farm located in Oketepe in Okula community, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State said he prefers to die than watch the officers destroyed what he had worked hard for in the last one year.
He noted that he is aware of the law banning the sale of cannabis, insisting that it is business which must be followed with risk.
His words, “I am the owner of this farm. I learnt it in Yoruba land. When I cultivated one last year, it was stolen. So it is this year I bought seed from Yoruba land to plant new ones before I was caught.
“Indian hemp business is luck. In this farm, I can get many bags here. I do sell one bag for N20,000 depending on the area am selling it, It could be more.
“I spent N12,000 for labour in cultivating this farm. It is better for you people to kill me than destroy this farmland”.
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant grow up to this level. In the next two weeks, I am supposed to harvest it.
“Now you people have come here to destroy it. Just kill me, so that I won’t see you people destroying what I have laboured for.
“I am looking for money because I am illiterate. I don’t want to engage in armed robbery or kidnapping that is why I am into this business of Indian hemp”.
However, his plea did not stop the NDLEA from destroying the cannabis farmland.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday after the destruction of the cannabis farmland, the Kogi State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mr Alfred Adewumi lamented the increasing wave of illicit use and cultivation of cannabis in the state.
Adewumi stated that the two suspects were arrested through intelligent gathering by officers of his command.
The commander noted that the latest breakthrough in the fight against illicit use of drug in Kogi State is coming three days after the command arrested the duo of Enduarance Samson and Abah Sunday for alleged possession of 36.2 kilogrammes wrap of cannabis.
“What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football field put together. This is very unfortunate. I am worried about this unfortunate development. I have thought that Kogi State will not descend to this point.
“As things stand today, it will be direct self-denial to begin to say that Kogi state is not planting cannabis because the evidence itself suggests the fact that there is high planting of cannabis sativa in Kogi State. Sadly Kogi State can also now begin to rank among those state where you find cannabis sativa plantations.
“We will not relent in fighting against illicit use of drug that is why we took the fight to their doorstep. Kogi State is the gateway to many other states in the north, south, east and western parts of this country.
“I had promised at the point of my deployment to Kogi State that I won’t give room for anybody to turn Kogi State to a drug cultivation State.
“And because of that, we have spread out our tentacles, reach out as far as possible with intelligence gathering, this result is why you are seeing today” Adewumi averred.
Adewumi said all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.