Newsmen reported that Rivers State Government has banned the consumption of local gin popularly called Ogogoro following the death of about 22 persons in Bonny Island, Bonny, and Woji in Obio Akpor local government areas of Rivers.
They died after consuming dog meat delicacy and local gin popularly called ‘Kai-Kai’ or Ogogoro which allegedly contained poisonous ethanol.
The Rivers government through the Department of Disease Control said the ban became necessary measure to avoid more people consuming the toxic substance.
The Director of Disease Control in state ministry of Health, Dr. Roland Obed Whyte, however expressed concern over the difficulty in getting samples of the particular gin through clinical analysis because the irate youths of Woji had set ablaze the shop of Friday Dickson, aka Etiaba where the suspected toxic gin was bought and consumed erasing the remaining samples of the gin. Dickson is presently in the custody of the Police.
Whyte however said that health officials from the Ministry have been dispatched to Woji for house-to-house enlightenment on dangers in the consumption of highly toxic local gin.
He also said that preliminary findings revealed that the symptoms exhibited by the affected victims include, vomiting and blindness.
It was also learnt that another challenge facing the state ministry of Health is that some of the remains of the deceased were buried without autopsy making further medical examinations a Herculean task.
In Bonny Island, Simon Wilcox, a youth leader and spokesman for Bonny kingdom confirmed yesterday the death of 17 persons after the consumption of the toxic local brew popularly kai-kai imported into the Island.
“As I speak with you 17 persons have been confirmed dead.We are going to the hospital to attend those who are lying critically ill.We need the help of World Health Organization, WHO, Federal and Government agencies to assist people of Bonny kingdom,” Wilcox said.