Ekiti State Government has threatened to take over farm land used for the cultivation of Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as hemp or marijuana. This was made known at the weekend by Governor Kayode Fayemi who was the Special Guest of Honour at the public destruction of 11,500kg of illegal drugs at Ado-Ekiti by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
According to the Governor, land forfeiture will serve as a deterrent to land owners who lease their land without monitoring. “Henceforth, owners of land used for cannabis cultivation will forfeit their land to the State government. This will serve as a deterrent to land owners. We have discovered that the involvement of commercial drivers and motorcyclists in the consumption of cannabis have increased the level of fatalities on our roads. Let us support the NDLEA by being vigilant and taking proactive measures against drug trafficking” Fayemi urged.
The governor added that drugs are life destroying and any government that is determined to improve the living standard and ensure the security of life and property must be actively involved in drug control programmes. In his words, “the Ministry of Education and Health will partner with the NDLEA for the training of secondary school teachers for extensive campaign against drug abuse in the State. Let me also call on parents, guardians, religions leaders and individuals to join in the war against drug use in the State”.
NDLEA Director General, Mr. Femi Ajayi who represented the Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade said that the Agency has carried out similar destruction exercises in other parts of the country. “The Agency within the year had conducted similar destruction events in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja as well as in Edo, Oyo and Kano States. The Ekiti drug destruction will bring the total quantity of publicly destroyed drugs by the NDLEA in 2013 to 145,869.525kg. Drug trafficking syndicates are in the minority. We must not allow their inimical activities to undermine our collective peace and security”.
The Agency also lamented the increasing cases of cannabis cultivation in the State. “It is unfortunate that cannabis sativa is steadily displacing legitimate crops from farmlands across the country. Our eradication campaign effort Ekiti in 2012 led to the destruction of 764 hectares of cannabis farms. However, since January 2013, the Ekiti State command had detected and destroyed 875 hectares of cannabis farms. We must explore every strategy to promote the cultivation of food and economic crops instead of cannabis sativa”.
Ajayi thanked the Governor for providing a Drug Rehabilitation Centre for the State command. “I wish to express my profound gratitude to His Excellency, Governor Kayode Feyemi for his unflinching support for drug control programmes in the State. The State government has donated a bungalow to the Command which will serve as a Rehabilitation Centre. The Governor was very supportive during the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking”.
NDLEA Ekiti State commander, Mr Dele Akingbade promised to rid the State of cannabis and other drugs. “We shall continue to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers in the State. The officers have done a great job this year especially in the area of cannabis farms destruction. Efforts are also ongoing to prevent local herbal mixtures and substances of abuse that are not contained in the NDLEA Act” Akingbade stated.