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Reconciliation, Merry-making Gone Awry: How Ogogoro Led 6 To Early Grave In Ogun

OGBOGBO, an agrarian community in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of Ogun State was last Tuesday, thrown into mourning when six persons lost their lives after drinking local gin, allegedly served by their friend.

It was reliably gathered that though there was a disagreement among the six friends and the suspect (now at large) over an undisclosed issue, some persons mediated and had it settled.

It was also gathered that though the six persons who drank the alcohol died, the seventh person who reportedly served the drink without partaking in the drinking was alive.

Poisonous gin

According to a resident in the area, an alcohol seller had been accused of selling poisonous gin, which led to the death of people.

However, upon investigation, they gathered that the killer drink was served by one of the deceased person’s friends.

A few hours after they had departed to their various destinations, news filtered into the town that two of the friends had died while four others were hospitalised.

The other four persons died the following day while the suspect was reported to have fled over the incident.

The source said: “It was later that night that the news started breaking that those who drank from the alcohol were dying while some of them were rushed to the hospital.
“Six people have been announced dead and the whereabouts of the man who brought the alcohol was unknown.”

The mysterious death has created anxiety in Ijebuland over the alleged killer-drink in circulation.

A viral statement read: “Ogogoro drinker. There is a dangerous and killer local gin currently in circulation in Ijebuland. Over six people have gone to the burial ground in the last week. Save your life by totally abstaining from any herbal mixture made of ogogoro right now.”

The joint where the alleged contaminated alcohol was served has been put under lock by the local government authority.

When our correspondent got to the residence of one of the victims, he was told that his family has relocated from the town, since the head of the family is dead.

At the residence of another victim, he was told that they were not interested in talking with anybody on the matter.

A community leader in Ogbogbo, Solomon Awonuga, said the incident was a rude shock to him.

He said: “When I heard about it, I thought it was a joke until it turned out to be true.

“What I can only say is that may God continue to protect us. Nobody can confirm that the gin was poisoned by their friend.”

Another person, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said: “We thank God that we still have some of them that survived. One of them was discharged from General Hospital, Ijebu Ode last week Friday.”

Unfortunately, when our correspondent got to the residence of the said survivor, he was told that the man had travelled to Lagos State.

Another person said: “Though he was not there, what he heard was that the seven of them were friends, but there was a misunderstanding between them and some persons summoned them to settle the disagreement.

“They gathered at the residence of the seventh person, whose mother sells local gin (ogogoro) for reconciliation. After the reconciliation, the man brought out the gin for drinking; after that, everybody went to their various houses, only for them to hear that some of them died before dawn. Others were rushed to hospital but later died.”

No arrest made so far—Ogun Police

While confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Omolola Odutola, disclosed that the families of the victims said they were not interested in pressing charges but prefers to bury their dead.

She added that nobody has been arrested in connection to the incident.

Odutola said: “Since the families of the victims had said that they were not interested in pressing any case, a warrant for burial had been issued to them by the police for them to bury their dead.”

She clarified that they were not killed by the woman who sold alcohol.

Odutola said: “The state police command has deployed crack detectives to Ogbogbo for proper investigation.”

While pointing out that no arrest has been made, she assured that the command will not leave any stone unturned in its bid to unravel both the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

She, however, warned against speculations until investigations were concluded.

We’re investigating the matter — Ogun govt
Reacting to the development, the Ogun State Government confirmed that about eight persons had died while 11 others were in critical condition after allegedly taking killer alcoholic drinks in Odogbolu and Ijebu North-East LGAs of the state.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Health, Dr Tomi Coker, said there were reports of 11 cases of severe illnesses and eight deaths directly linked to the consumption of locally brewed alcoholic products.

Coker said: “It is of utmost importance to only consume products that have been officially approved and certified by NAFDAC.

“The unauthorised production and distribution of alcoholic beverages and other consumable items pose significant health risks as they are often manufactured in unregulated and unhygienic conditions, making them potential breeding grounds for harmful substances and toxins.

“Such substances can lead to severe health complications and, in some cases, fatal outcomes, as evidenced by the recent incidents in Ijebu North-East and Odogbolu LGAs.

“We, hereby, urge the public to report any suspicious locally brewed alcoholic drink to the appropriate authorities or NAFDAC.”

The Special Adviser added that residents should also report any case of illness or death after consumption of similar products including herbal concoctions to the nearest government hospital.

She reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its all residents, stressing that collaborative efforts among the government, regulatory bodies and the public were paramount to combat the sale and consumption of harmful products.

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