By Ibrahim Bello
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kebbi has arrested a 55-year-old native doctor, Arage Rikici, with Cannabis Sativa farm at Kukin village in Fakai Local Government Area of the state.
The state commander of the agency, Mr Suleiman Jadi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday that cannabis farming was unprecedented in the history of the state.
“Sequel to intelligence report, a team of NDL4, 2018 discovered and destroyed Cannabis Sativa farm at Kukun village in Fakai local government area.
“The alleged owner of the illicit farm, Mr Arage Rikici, a 55 year-old native doctor was arrested and he is presently in our custody undergoing investigation.
“This is a dangerous trend indicating a shift which has made Kebbi to be a drug consuming state to a drug producing state via cultivation,” Jadi said.
He advised farmers in the state not to indulge in illicit crop farming and abandon their legitimate cash crop cultivation.
The commander also urged landowners not to allow the cultivation of cannabis sativa crops, stressing that planting of such crop would affect soil fertility necessary for food crop cultivation.
“We will nip the development in the bud before it spreads,” he said.
He also called on the communities to be on the lookout for cannabis sativa plants in their domains and report same to the authority for prompt action.
Rikici told NAN that he planted the illicit crop for easy accessibility and self- consumption.
“You see, I am a native doctor, and because of my age I cannot move as my two legs are stiffened.
“In order to have easy access to it, I planteer to have easy access to it, I planted it on my farm which is closed to my house, and hired boys to cultivate it for me.
“I sometimes take it to market for sale at N50 per small wrap,” he said.
Rikici said that he got the seeds from Benin Republic.