The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade has deployed a tractor for the destruction of cannabis plantation at Gbongan Forest reserve, Ayedade Local Government Area of Osun State. Giade said that the Agency took the initiative in response to the growing magnitude of cannabis cultivation in the South West States. The estimated street value of 676,800kg of destroyed cannabis on the 57 hectares is 6.8 billion naira.
The operation lasted from Thursday October 9, to Sunday October 12, 2014. A suspected drug baron, Godspower Chibogu, 51-year-old who allegedly financed the cultivation of the cannabis plantations was traced to his private residence in Ibadan, Oyo State where he was apprehended. He was taken to the farm where he witnessed the destruction. A Peugeot 406 saloon car belonging to the suspect was also impounded.
NDLEA Chairman promised to arrest more barons and destroy cannabis plantations. “This is the first time the NDLEA is engaging the services of a tractor in the destruction of a cannabis farm. The farms are so large that it takes several days and weeks to destroy manually. Deploying heavy duty equipment to the farms makes the task simpler and faster. It is also a demonstration of our commitment to the eradication of cannabis cultivation. In the past few months, we have destroyed several cannabis plantations. More barons shall be arrested and cannabis plantations destroyed” Giade stated.
According to the NDLEA Chairman, cannabis is the greatest drug challenge in the country. In his words, “the major drug problem in the country remains cannabis. It accounts for over ninety percent of total drug seized by the NDLEA. We are therefore concentrating efforts at addressing the problem at the grass root level. Taking the battle to the farms has yielded significant success. We are determined to destroy all cannabis farms and cut off supply to users. This is one of our strategies of reducing crime and violence in our country”.
The NDLEA Director of Operations and General Investigation, Mr. Olugbenga Mabo expressed delight with the success of the operations. According to Mabo, “the successful arrest of the suspected drug baron, Godspower Chibogu who has been on the trail of the Agency underscores the fact that drug barons have no hiding place. We are prepared to cross over more rivers and climb more mountains to destroy cannabis plantations”.
Meanwhile, the farm operation that lasted 72 hours was led by the NDLEA Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Mr. Muyiwa Adeniyi. “Farm destruction operation is a very difficult assignment but at the end of the day when you look back at the vast expanse of land covered coupled with the overall benefits to the country, we are happy. This is a very successful operation” Muyiwa stated.
The suspected drug baron has given useful information to the investigating officers. “I gave out money for people to farm cannabis for me. I used to be a transporter but when my business was recording losses; I sold my buses and invested the money in cannabis cultivation. This is my first time” Godspower who hails from Delta State stated.
He will soon be charged to court.
Head, Public Affairs