Ibadan - The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a combined six hours joint operation on Thursday raided and destroyed 24 hectares of cannabis plantation in Oyo state.
The joint operation was conducted by operatives from the NDLEA, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Others were the Department of State Security Services (DSS), the Oyo State Ministries of Natural Resources and Forest Reserve.
The operatives invaded and destroyed the illicit plantation at Seriki Centre of the Gambari Forest Reserve.
The NDLEA's state Commander, Faboyede Omolade, described the operation as a major break through which would greatly impact on the fight against drug abuse.
Omolade said: "By June 28, the NDLEA will observe the United Nations Day Against Illicit Trafficking and Drug Abuse.
"The international message of hope for this year is 'Drug Use Disorder is Preventable and Treatable'."
The commander said that it was shocking to discover the wide expanse of cannabis plantation having raided the same farm two years ago.
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"About two years ago, we burnt a cultivation of cannabis in this same forest and it is shocking to find out this 24 hectares of cannabis have been cultivated again.
"We have been monitoring this every year and that is why we have discovered this early before it reaches maturity.
"You can imagine the damage and dangers of drug abuse if this much quantity had gotten into the public," she said.
"This will be a continuous exercise and the state government has planned to bring foreign investors to occupy the land and dissuade future illegal activities," Omolade said.
She said the agency would put in collaborative effort with the state Ministry of Natural Resources to educate members of the ministry on identification of the plant.
"We also appeal to members of the public to work with us in our efforts to prevent people to curb drug abuse and trafficking.
"It comes with adverse effects and atrocities are perpetrated through it," she said.