A 42-year-old cannabis farmer identified as Clement Akor who was arrested by operatives of Kogi state’s command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has begged for his life to be taken rather than his 10-hectare cannabis plantation being destroyed.
The father of 6 who was arrested alongside his accomplice David Ameh at Enabo village in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, stated that he has invested so much in his farm to lose it.
Admitting that he is aware of the law banning the sale of Cannabis Sativa, Akor said;
”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 BETTER YOU PEOPLE KILL ME THAN DESTROY THIS FARMLAND.
“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 SUPPORTED 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”.
NDLEA commander, Alfred Adewumi confirmed the arrest of the suspects and also disclosed that they were nabbed through intelligence.
“SEEING THEY SAY IS BELIEVING. WHAT YOU ARE SEEING TODAY IS CERTAINLY MORE THAN THREE FOOTBALL FIELD BUT TOGETHER. I WOULD MAKE YOU 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 STAND TODAY, IT WILL BE DIRECT 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 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 A DRUG THAT IS WHY WE TOOK THE FIGHT TO THEIR DOORSTEP. KOGI STATE IS THE GATEWAY TO A MAN 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.”
The NDLEA commander added that all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.