The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ondo State Chapter, over the weekend publicly destroyed 86,779.1kg of cannabis worth about N619 million.
It was gathered the burning was in compliance with a court order issued by Justice Ishaq Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Akure.
Speaking at the venue of the burning at Oda road in Akure, Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade said the Federal Government is determined to stop cannabis cultivation in the country.
His words: “It gladdens my heart that we are gathered here today to destroy what destroys lives and destinies. Cannabis eradication is a priority project for the Nigerian government.
“Unless drug barons quit the criminal act, the cannabis farms will be traced and the deadly plants destroyed. Drug barons will equally be arrested and prosecuted in line with the NDLEA Act”.
Giade added that the Agency will in addition confiscate all ill-gotten proceeds of drug trafficking and forfeit same to the Federal Government and stressed that the threat of cannabis cultivation, trafficking and use must not be ignored.
He noted that statistics of destroyed drug exhibits in the state is a wakeup call for stakeholders to further intensify control efforts.
“The large expanse of land used for cannabis cultivation is a threat to food security. As security managers, it is important for us to rebase the drug control situation in the state.
“We must continue to take away the profit and make drug trafficking unattractive. This we can achieve by effective public enlightenment and necessary logistic support,” he stated.
He also implored traditional rulers in the state to support the fight towards drug control efforts and called for persistent attacks on drug syndicates.
Earlier, the Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko commended the Agency for fighting drug barons bent on destroying farmlands in the state.
Mimiko, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, said he appreciated the state command of the Agency for working tirelessly in reducing the problem of drug trafficking in the state.
He said the large seizure of the cannabis in the state for since the past three years have since brought sanity with and outside the shores of the state.
Ondo State Command of the Agency had in year 2011 destroyed 36,740.52kg of drugs while in 2012; 61,055.9kg of forfeited cannabis was equally set ablaze.
In addition, 51 hectares of cannabis plantation were destroyed and 92 drug traffickers, comprising 86 males and six females arrested.