I harvested cannabis to buy WASSCE form – Teenager
AN 18-year-old teenager, Monday Ogwugwa, who was arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has said he became a labourer at a cannabis farm in desperation to raise the fee to register for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
According to PUNCH Metro, the teenager was arrested during an operation in which the NDLEA was able to confiscate and burn hard drugs worth N15.8bn.
Ogwugwa told officials of the agency that to earn a living had been tough for him since he had lost his parents at a tender age. The suspect added that he was misled to the illicit business in his quest for formal education.
Report also has it that Ogwugwa was apprehended during the destruction of the cannabis plantation at the Arinkinkin forest in the Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State. It was learnt that some farms were also destroyed at the Ayedade Local Government Area of the state.
Ogwugwa said, “I lost my parents when I was a little child. A man brought me from Delta State to this farm to work so that I could get money to register for Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. This is my first time of coming to work in a cannabis farm. It was here that I knew it was a cannabis farm. I have nobody to help me.”
Our correspondent learnt that the Joint Task Force of the agency had stormed the farms in an operation that lasted for seven days, destroying 2,260,800 kilogrammes of cannabis – including the processed one – whose street value was said to be worth N15.8bn.
The NDLEA Director of Operations and investigation, Mr. Olugbenga Mabo who led the team, described the operation as timely as it coincided with the harvest time of the drug.
Mabo said, “The operation was timely because the farmers had commenced harvest already. The good news is that both the harvested plants and the fresh plants were destroyed. We are currently processing some intelligence reports and more farms shall be completely destroyed. A secondary school student was apprehended at the cannabis farm.”
The agency’s JTF Commander, Mr. Adeniyi Muyiwa, commended the team for defying all odds to make the operation a success.
“Apart from deploying officers from the entire South West for the assignment, we engaged the services of 80 labourers in the destruction exercise. I am glad that officers were enthusiastic in spite of the tasking nature of the operation. We were determined to work and I am glad that the entire plantation was destroyed,” Adeniyi said.
Ahmadu Giade, the NDLEA chairman, promised to take away financial incentives from cannabis cultivation.
He said, “In this operation alone, we successfully destroyed a total of 2,260,800kg of cannabis with a street value of N15.8bn. This is a clear indication that cannabis cultivators shall not be allowed to enjoy the proceeds of their criminal drug activities.
“The drug barons arrested in the previous operation in connection with the cannabis plantations in the state shall be diligently prosecuted and I expect nothing but maximum punishment. A criminal act that generates so much money deserves the attention of stakeholders.”