Oyo Global Forum hereby issue a public acknowledgment of the arrest and seizure of loads of marijuana effected by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at Ilu-Aje, Afijio local government area today, Wednesday, December 21, 2016. We independently sourced the information, and NDLEA has officially confirmed the development.
During the raid of the Ilu-Aje farm used to grow marijuana, the NDLEA seized 83 bags amounting to 650 kg of the illicit substance that negatively impacts individual users and the society at large. The farm as well as the seized marijuana belongs to a notorious merchant, Mr. Owolowo curiously called “Alhaji”, whose trading spot is Garage, Akesan Market at the heart of Oyo kingdom. Mr. Owolowo’s agents were arrested but the merchant himself is still at large.
The commendable operation of the NDLEA today came as further gains of the November 6 OGF Town Hall Meeting on Public Education, Drug Abuse and Violence, that brought together relevant stakeholders, including security bodies, government authorities, community leaders, parents, teachers and others to pledge broad commitment to actions against drug abuse in the wake of mindless violence unleashed by drug-induced teenage students on some Oyo secondary schools.
The stakeholders present at the meeting, and indeed the general public, are now fully aware of this latest gain, that is the operation of the NDLEA at Ilu-Aje. We therefore wish to stress that the NDLEA is duty-bound to pursue this case to court trial level. It becomes imperative to stress this point because we are aware Mr. Owolowo is mustering efforts from hiding to recover his seized illicit goods; and the NDLEA has repeatedly told us whether it will prosecute depends on the volume of the exhibit. Doubtlessly, 83 bags amounting to 650 kg of marijuana is voluminous enough to form basis of prosecution.
We also wish to task the NDLEA to ensure Mr. Owolowo and other merchants are arrested and brought to book.
Finally, we recognize the task of helping Oyo combat the menace of drug abuse is enormous and requires broad supports. We shall continue to support the security agencies; and hereby, urge well meaning members of the public to rise with OGF in this civic task. OGF call on authorities at the state and local levels to provide all necessary supports for NDLEA to cover its logistical gap, and urge all parties and candidates participating in the forthcoming LG elections to make matter of discouraging drug abuse and violence a top priority agenda.
Hassan Adebayo, General Secretary of Oyo Global Forum