The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed drugs weighing 110.542 tons in Akure, Ondo State capital.
According to the spokesman of the agency, Jonah Achema, “this is the single largest public destruction of exhibits by burning, coming after the one by Edo State, which gross weight was 136 tons.
The drugs, mainly Cannabis sativa, were some of the seizures made by NDLEA Ondo State command within a four-year period.
In 2014, the agency destroyed well over 80 tons of similar drugs in Ondo”.
Chairman of the agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd.) described the drug situation in Ondo as “frightening and sad.
Sadly, apart from this large quantity heaped for destruction, there are still tons of Cannabis sativa that we are yet to secure court order to destroy.
We have also destroyed 1,418. 635 hectares of Cannabis plantations in Ondo between 2015 and 2018,” he said.
According to Abdallah, who was represented by chief of staff to the chairman, Femi Oloruntoba, Ondo remains one of the six states in Nigeria where Cannabis is cultivated in large quantities.
“As a result of Cannabis plantations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find virgin forests, thus exposing the state to deforestation and soil degradation.”
He urged Ondo State government to embrace Alternative Development Programme through the provision of land, expertise, implement, seedlings, chemicals and buying up the harvests at attractive rates, thus addressing poverty, food insecurity and unemployment.
Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, commended NDLEA for sustaining the efforts at de-escalating Cannabis production in the state.
“We appreciate the grave consequences of drugs and the security implications, hence the inclusion of NDLEA in the State Security Council. We will continue to support the agency so that together we cleanse the society of the drug menace,” the governor noted.