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PM Backs Drug Raids

PM Backs Drug Raids
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama rides a horse to Nasivikoso Village School in the highlands of Ba yesterday. Photo: Isaac Lal, DEPTFO News
January 17
13:02 2015

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday condemned marijuana farmers and backed Police raids.

He spoke about the drug problem while he was in Nasivikoso, in the tikina (district) of Magodro, Ba. He opened the Nasivikoso Village School (School opening report, Page 3).

Police have conducted a series of raids in Vanua Levu and Kadavu, uprooting marijuana plants.

Mr Bainimarama did not mince his words. He wanted people to turn to positive developments rather than turning to the illicit drug trade. He commended Police efforts in trying to eradicate marijuana cultivation.

“It is quite interesting that it is still cultivated and harvested in the country,” he said.

“The Police are doing a wonderful job in raiding farms. It is now the time to focus more on development of projects like schools rather than developing marijuana cultivation.”

He said his Government was doing a lot of development in building schools to prepare future leaders.

“We should focus more of our time in educating our children rather than cultivating marijuana. It is the responsibility of parents to see that their children are well educated otherwise there will be more marijuana cultivation which will destroy more innocent lives,”  he said.

The Tui Magodro, Ratu Simione Navutevute, who is the high chief in the highlands of Ba endorsed the PM’s remarks.

He is a strong anti-drug advocate and has led the battle against marijuana cultivation.

Ratu Simione said his campaign had paid off. Marijuana cultivation in the villages of Bukuya, Nadevo, Navaga, Tabalei, Tabuquto, and Nasivikoso had ceased.

He said marijuana cash was easy money but physically and spiritually debilitating.

“There is no life in it,” he said.

“I have banned the cultivation of marijuana in the vanua of Magodro. If anyone is found cultivating it, they will face the penalty of the vanua through the Bati (traditional warriors) before being presented to Police to face the full brunt of the law.

“Last year some villagers broke the taboo. With the help of the Bati, 50 cultivators were apprehended from Nasivikoso and Bukuya villages and handed to Police.”



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