Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Jonathan’s cousin calls for lifting of ban on ‘Ogogoro’

Mr. Azibaola Roberts, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday advocated lifting of the ban on local gin popularly known as Kaikai or ‘ogogoro’.

The production and consumption of the locally distilled drink also known in local parlance as ‘Ogogoro’ was banned in June 2015 by Bayelsa government following death of 20 people in Ondo state after consuming the drink.

Subsequently, other states in the Niger Delta region outlawed the production and consumption of the local drink, leading to a clampdown by security agencies.

Roberts, who made the advocacy while speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa, noted that it was regrettable that ‘Kaikai’ still remained outlawed in the statute books of states in the federation.

He said it was a ploy by the colonial mastets to preserve their distilleries in Europe and brand gins produced by artisanal distilleries as “Illicit” and wondered why the discriminatory tag was yet to be jettisoned.

”Today l have the privilege to prick your conscience on some basic things, basic things like, Kaikai, as l speak to you Kaikai is illegal in the books of state governments, such that it is labeled illicit drink…

“Kaikai distillation is a basic occupation of our people. How for God’s sake that Kaikai is labelled as illicit drink for over 60 years since after Independence is what baffles people like me.” Roberts said

Robert’s noted with dismay that people whose livelihood depended on the local gin were being arrested, while those who deal in alcoholic gins brewed abroad are treated as doing normal business.

“Those foreign drinks are local drinks of people elsewhere, just like our own Kaikai is brewed here, the only thing is that we have failed to identify the potential of our own and act accordingly,“ he said.

“People spend up to N60,000 per bottle for this foreign gins and do not do same for the local alcohol , there is no difference between the two, they are all mixture of water and alcohol,” he further argued.

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