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Nigeria destroys 255 hectares of cannabis fields

The Nigerian drug agency said Wednesday it had destroyed 255 hectares (630 acres) of cannabis fields and arrested 13 people in southwestern Ondo state.

Marijuana cultivation and consumption has escalated in recent years in Africa’s most populous country, despite it being illegal.

“Operations from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have destroyed a total of 255 hectares of cannabis plantations in a major operation that lasted seven days,” agency spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement.

“In addition, 13 suspects were arrested and 250 kilograms (551 pounds) of cannabis seeds and 63.85 kilograms (to) of cannabis weeds were recovered,” he added.

Babafemi said the crackdown, codenamed Operation Abub, took place “deep in five major forests” from Feb. 15 to Feb. 21.

The statement was released online along with photos and videos showing law enforcement officers setting fire to cannabis plants.

NDLEA Chief Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa urged officers to “look for more such farms in every part of the country.”

He said it was a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari “that all such crops and plantations … should be located and destroyed.”

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