The Kogi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested two suspected Indian Hemp farmers, Clement Akor and David Ameh.
The prime suspect, Clement Akor, who hails from Enabo village in the Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, after his arrest, pleaded with the NDLEA to take his life instead of destroying his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
The 42-year-old father of six said he had invested a lot of money into the business and cannot afford to lose it all, preferring to be killed instead.
He made serious attempt to prevent the NDLEA led by Alfred Adewumi, a commander, from destroying his farm located in Oketepe in Okula community. He told the NDLEA that he learnt how to farm Indian hemp from Owo, Ondo State.
While stating that it was a risky business, Akor noted that it was worth the risk.
“I am the owner of this farm. I learnt it in Yorubaland. When I cultivated the produce last year, it was stolen. So, this year, I bought the seed from Yorubaland and planted it before I was caught.
“The Indian hemp business is by luck. In this farm, I can get many bags. I do sell one bag for N20,000, depending on the area where I am selling it to. It can be me more. I spent N12,000 on cultivating this farm. It is better for you people to kill me than destroy this farm.”
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant to 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 cultivation and sale,” he said.
While addressing journalists shortly after the destruction of the farm, Adewumi insisted that the war against illicit drug was on course in the state, and also lamented the increasing use of cannabis in the state.
He also expressed worry about the development, stating that it is evident that there is high rate of cannabis sativa cultivation in the state.
He revealed that the suspects were arrested through intelligence gathering.
Adewumi said, “What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football fields put together. Just look around that is a huge expanse of cultivated cannabis land. 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 stand today, it will be self denial to begin to say that Kogi State is not planting cannabis sativa, because the evidence itself suggests the fact that there is high rate of cannabis sativa cultivation in the state.”