A suspected Indian hemp farmer, Clement Akor, has begged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to take his life instead of destroying his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
Akor, a 42-year-old father of six from Enabo village in the Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, and his accomplice, David Ameh, were arrested by the Kogi State Command of the NDLEA.
Akor, who claimed to have invested so much in the business and could not afford to lose everything, said he learnt dealing in Indian hemp from Owo, Ondo State.
The suspect, who cried profusely and attempted to stop the men of the NDLEA, led by the commander, Alfred Adewumi, from destroying his farm in Oketepe, Okula community, about 10 kilometres from Ejule, said he preferred to die than watch the officers destroy what he worked hard for in the last one year.
He noted that he was aware of the ban on the sale of Indian hemp, but insisted that it was a risky business.
Akor stated, “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.”
Adewumi, however, calmed him down but insisted that the war against illicit drug use was on course in the state.
Addressing journalists shortly after the destruction of the farm, Adewumi lamented the increasing wave of cultivation illicit and use of cannabis sativa in the state.
He stated that the two suspects were arrested through intelligent gathering by officers of his command.
The commander noted that the latest breakthrough came three days after the command arrested Endurance Samson and Abah Sunday for alleged possession of 36.2 kilograms of Indian hemp.
Adewumi stated, “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.”
He added that the suspects would be charged as soon as investigation was concluded into the case.