A suspected cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) grower, Clement Akor, on Wednesday urged operatives the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to take his life instead of destroying his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
Akor (42), a father of six children from Enabo village in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, alongside an accomplice, David Ameh, were arrested by men of the Kogi State command of the NDLEA.
Akor who claimed he had invested much in the business and cannot afford to lose it, said that he learnt the trade in Owo, Ondo State.
Ako cried in vain in an attempt to stop the NDLEA operatives led by their commander, Alfred Adewumi, from destroying his farm, located in Oketepe, Okula community, about 10 kilometres from Ejule, in Ofu LG, said he would rather die than watch what he had worked “hard for in the last one year destroyed.”
According to him: “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 me more. I spent N12, 000 for labour in cultivating this farm. It better you people kill me than destroy this farm land.
“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 an illiterate. I don’t want to engage in armed robbery or kidnapping. That is why I am into this business of Indian hemp.”
Adewumi was to calm Akor down, insisting that the war against illicit drug use is on course in Kogi State.
Adewumi lamented over the increasing wave of illicit drug use and cultivation of cannabis sativa in the state.
He said that the two suspects were arrested through intelligence gathering by officers of his command.
“Seeing, they say is believing. What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football fields put together. I will leave you to make your judgment. Just look around that is the huge expanse. We just left the first farm, which is equally a huge cannabis plantation.
“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 stands today, it will be direct self-denial to begin to say that Kogi State is not planting cannabis sativa.
“We will not relent in our fight against illicit the use of illicit drug. That is why we took the fight to their door step. Kogi State is the gate way 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 into a drug cultivation state. And, because of that, we have spread out our tentacles, reached out as far as possible with intelligence gathering. The result is what you are seeing today,” he said.
Adewumi said that the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.