NDLEA not in Thailand for marijuana cultivation – Abdallah | Dailytrust

NDLEA not in Thailand for marijuana cultivation – Abdallah

NDLEA’s Chairman/CEO, retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah
NDLEA’s Chairman/CEO, retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that the Nigerian team that recently visited Thailand went for scientific research on drug eradication and not to learn how to grow cannabis sativa for medicinal purpose.

The Chairman/CEO of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd.), said this on Monday in Abuja in a statement he signed personally.

He said that it was a misinformation that the Executive Governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu and himself were on a mission to Thailand to learn how to grow cannabis sativa for medicinal purpose or economic gain.

“This is far from the truth.  I wish to by this statement categorically denounce the misleading information. At no point did I make any remark in favour of the commercial and medicinal value or monetary gain of Cannabis while in Thailand.

“The purpose of the visit to Thailand is to understudy how the country (Thailand) has successfully migrated some of her citizens hitherto engaged in illicit Poppy plant cultivation to the cultivation of legitimate economic crops and other lawful businesses.

“Thailand’s model, referred to as Sustainable Alternative Development (SAD) is the direction the entire world is heading and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. The United Nations regards Thailand as the incubator of SAD of sorts.

“Thailand is known widely as a success story in alternative livelihood development for building alternative income in farming coffee, tea, fruits and crafts which have helped in eradicating opium production.

“The Mae Fah Luang Foundation in Thailand which implements the Doi Tung Development Project has curbed the growth of poppy through this process.

“This subsequently has banished opium in Thailand.  Nigeria seeks to achieve a similar feat in the eradication of cannabis,” Abdallah said.

According to him, sometimes last year, NDLEA and Oyo State Government visited the foundation in Thailand and the lesson learnt is already transforming the cannabis cultivation landscape in Oyo State where the government forests used for illegal cannabis cultivation have been acquired for a chain of agricultural activities, which gainfully engages the hitherto cannabis farmers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, NDLEA under my leadership has been consistent in our opposition to legalization and decriminalization of cannabis.

“For example, Operation Thunderstorm undertaken by Ondo State Command of NDLEA destroyed 3,900.73 hectares of cannabis sativa planted in forest reserves.

“Once again, Nigeria’s position against the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis still remains in conformity with our laws – Cap N30 LFN 2004.  NDLEA’s mandate is to implement the laws,” he added.

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