Tony Ita Etim, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government has banned the consumption of local gin popularly called Ogogoro or Kai Kai. The Director Disease Control in the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Roland Obed Whyte disclosed this in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The ban might have been prompted by the death of about 22 persons in Bonny Island, Bonny, and Woji in Obio Akpor local government areas after consuming dog meat delicacy and local gin. Whyte explained that the ban became necessary to safeguard people’s health and lives.
He lamented the difficulty in getting samples of the particular gin for clinical analysis because the angry youths of Woji had set ablaze the shop of Friday Dickson, aka Etiaba, where the suspected toxic gin was bought and consumed as well and destroyed remaining samples of the gin.
Dickson is currently in the custody of the Police. Whyte also said health officials from the Ministry had been dispatched to Woji for house-to-house enlightenment on dangers of consuming highly toxic local gin.
Our correspondent gathered that some of the deceased were buried without autopsy making medical examinations difficult. In Bonny Island, Simon Wilcox, a Youth leader and Spokesman for Bonny kingdom confirmed the death of 17 persons after Ogogoro consumption.
Wilcox stated, “As I speak with you 17 persons have been confirmed dead. We are going to the hospital to attend to those who are lying critically ill. We need the help of World Health Organization, WHO, Federal and State Government agencies to assist people of Bonny kingdom”.