The Kogi State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Alfred Adewumi has disclosed that the command seized 56, 223.824kg of Cannabis Sativa popularly called Indian hemp between 2020- September 2021.
Adewumi disclosed this on Thursday at the launching of the War Against Drug Abuse, (WADA), programme and decoration of newly promoted officers of NDLEA in the state.
The Commander noted that the figure of the seizure excludes cannabis sativa and other illicit drug mop ups through the agency inland operation.
He said Kogi State sharing borders with states such as Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Delta which are known to be heavy Cannabis Sativa cultivating domains predisposes it to Cannabis Sativa trafficking and abuse.
“The combination of the unlawful but thriving drug business at the Ogbogwu Market in Onitsha, with the possible existence of Clandestine Laboratories for the — production Of Methamphetamine in both Anambra and Delta states which are neighbouring states to Kogi as well as the proximity and easy access it provides to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja further makes Kogi a high risk for the illicit drug business.
“The waterway provides an opportunity to traffic drugs from Cannabis Sativa plantations and Psychotropic substances markets in Edo, Delta and Anambra States and ferried across River Niger into Idah in Kogi, and for upward distribution into the far northern states of Nigeria.
“The discovery of over twenty-six hectares of Cannabis Sativa plantations in the eastern part of the state in the year 2020 and another twenty acres in the year 2021 in the same axis are indicative of domestic cultivation of drugs.
”It can be surmised that the vital positioning of Kogi State, as well as the multi-racial composition of the state’s demography along with its nearness to the FCT and other peculiarities enumerated above, make the state a strategic and veritable location for transit traffic, local production/cultivation and consumption of drugs,” he said.
On the launching of the War Against Drug Abuse, (WADA), Adewumi explained that it is a call for civil action for all Nigerians to take an active part in combating drug abuse and circulation in the country.
He recalled that On 26″ June 2021, President Mohamadu Buhari, launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) which by the directive of Brig. General Mohammed Buba Marwa, Retd, Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA OFR should be replicated in states and to consequently devolve to the local government and eventually to the family as a unit.
”During the launch, the President while urging all well-meaning citizens to enlist in the war against drug abuse asserted that “the drug war was more dangerous than the war against insurgency and banditry because it targeted three generations for destruction”.
The State Security Adviser, Commodore Jerry Omodara Rtd. commended the NDLEA for synergizing with security agencies in the fight against illicit drugs in Kogi State.
Omodara said ” What NDLEA did in one year under the present Commander in Kogi is commendable. We recorded series of arrests and discoveries of large cultivation of cannabis sativa in Ofu, Igalamela, Idah Local Government and many more. If these hard drugs had gained entrance into society the security situation will worsen.
“We are aware that some of these drug peddlers have changed tactics. They are now using hotels to perpetuate their crimes. We are coming after them. The present administration will continue to protect the lives and properties of citizens”
He warned youths to stay away from drugs as anyone caught will face the full wrath of the law.