Aside destroying 300 hectares of cannabis farms between January and August 2018, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed drugs weighing 110,542 tonnes in Ondo State.
Muhammad Mustapha, the Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, who spoke to reporters shortly after the public destruction of the exhibit, on Thursday, noted that the magnitude of cannabis planted in farmland of the state is alarming.
Mustapha, a retired colonel who was presented by Femi Oloruntoba, his Chief Of Staff, said Ondo State remains one of the six states of the nation where the plant was being cultivated in large quantities.
“This quantity of drugs weighing 110,542 tonnes which we are about to destroy is frightening and demands more reflections.
“As a result of cannabis plantations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find virgin forests,” he said.
The NDLEA boss noted that the anti-narcotics agency has invested lot of resources to seize illicit drugs in the country.
He commended the commander and officers of NDLEA in the state for their efforts.
“The use of cannabis remains high in the state because of availability and affordability. The Tramadol and cough syrup that is rampant in other states, particularly in the North, is not prevalent in Ondo State,” he said.
Haruna Gagara, State Commander of the NDLEA, said that one ton of cannabis sativa was seized August 2018.
According to him, between January and August 2018, the agency had destroyed over 300 hectares of cannabis sativa farms in the state.
Gagara added that more than 200 suspects were nabbed, and their cases are in court, with some convicted.
He explained that collaboration with communities was part of strategies used to sensitise subjects against cultivation of cannabis. He also solicited more support from the public.