Strange Killer Disease: Ondo govt. bans production, consumption of ‘ogogoro’

Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko
Photo Credit: Ondo State Government

The Ondo Government has banned the production and consumption of locally-made gin, commonly called ‘ogogoro’ in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dayo Akinyanju, announced this at a news conference in Akure on Saturday.

The commissioner attributed the ban to the outbreak of an unknown disease two weeks ago in Irele Local Government Area of the state.

“Our clinical analysis reveals the fact that there were no known viruses, while toxicology reports have confirmed our prime suspicion of methanol poisoning.

“We have reviewed our strategies and embarked on sensitisation to let people know that locally-made gin is prohibited.

“We will also embark on searches because this batch of methanol-containing gin must have gone round because four cases: two alive and two dead have been found in Odigbo Local Government Area,” he said.

Mr. Akinyanju said stakeholders such as religious leaders, transporters, youths, market women, and the relevant association would be informed of the development.

He said, “We will start with the entire South Senatorial District, then move to the Central Senatorial District.

According to the commissioner, the unknown disease has so far claimed 23 lives with 10 other people receiving treatment.

“Two of them have regained their sights and are back home.

“We appeal to the general public to desist from drinking the gin until we are able to identify the source of contamination or find out how the methanol got into the drinks,’ he said.

The commissioner said that the state government was working closely with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control and the National Orientation Agency to sensitise members of the public to the dangers of consuming such drinks.



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  • Warri Boy

    I hope Mimiko is not out of his mind? Why should the Ondo state govt ban Ogogoro? The state govt has no powers under the Nigerian constitution to deliberate on issues that are on the exclusive list. Ogogoro liquor is one of such.

    If the state govt is not conversant with the provisions of the constitution, then it should make recourse to the document or seek legal advice. Ogogoro is one of the oldest surviving products of 100% African science with 100% local content. We have used and benefited immensely from this wonderful product in immeasurable and unquantifiable terms for over 2,000 yrs. How then can one Mimiko ban such with executive fiat? This is nonsense. Pure nonsense!

    Mimiko cannot trample upon the rights of the people. The right to Ogogoro is a fundamental human right. Pure Ogogoro is not only a source of inspiration to many, but a source of income, a means of relaxation and a perfect tranquilizer among other things.

    To ban Ogogoro is treason. The Ondo state govt cannot hide under the pretext of an adulterated liquor to ban a legacy gin to which we and our ancestors owe allegiance. We stand with our Ondo state brothers in this moment of antagonistic provocation bcos we believe an injury to one is an injury to all. This ban MUST be reversed before other states begin to experiment with the useless idea.

    We are in a democracy. No be so? Therefore, it is criminal to ban or to attempt to ban Ogogoro without consulting the stakeholders. Mimiko! This is last warning for you. Reverse the ban!

    • Uncle Gaga (Bruce Wayne)

      I am not certain, but I think Mimiko’s ban is restricted to his state only. If this is the case, his office indeed has the power to pull off such executive actions (which can later be overridden by the assembly if they so have the votes).
      …but I understand your disdain. Ogogoro is employed in too many of our traditional Quaranquachikwalities that mimiko may very well be trying to cool the weather by spitting at the sun!

  • Uncle Gaga (Bruce Wayne)

    Mimiko, good luck with that one.
    Even America tried and failed in this venture you have embarked on.
    For your peace of mind, just chuck this one up to one of your failures as a Governor.

    Consider ogogoro’s status in our traditional society carefully. Is this really a fight you want to pick?
    Why don’t you try to regulate it’s production rather than ban it out right?
    I am sure Ogogoro producers don’t want to kill their customers any more than fish wants to kill water. There are steps in the production of Ogogoro that if not followed correctly, will result in the disastrous effect we have witnessed.
    Instead of an outright ban, why don’t you educate the producers on how to avoid these harmful effects?

    Take Garri (eba’s mother) for example. When Fresh it is loaded with cyanide and a whole bunch of other deadly substances and toxins. The frying process is what makes it safe for human consumption. You don’t see anybody trying to ban eba do you?
    A word is enough for the wise. Leave Ogogoro alone. If you exert any further effort in trying to ban Ogogoro, you are very likely to end up just banning yourself!

  • Riot50000

    Mr Health Commissioner, have you considered the possibility that they might have been poisoned by herbicides, like organophosphates? Ogogoro has been consumed there for centuries, and has not produced this kind of problem all by itself.
    Send my consultation fees to Hausa/Fulani street beggars in Lagos if you can confirm my suggestion.

  • Giganto

    I hope this ban will be enforced when GEJ comes calling next time