The Lagos State Government on Monday said it had confiscated a truckload of poisonous cowhide (ponmo) at Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos, in the Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, who described the cowhide as Ebola ponmo said the item was imported into the country by some ‘unscrupulous individuals’.
Onasanya, in a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Jide Lawal, noted that officials of the state government were informed about the matter after the police from the Iktoun division intercepted the truck.
According to the statement, the permanent secretary pointed out that the cowhide was preserved with chemicals to serve as a leather material, but it was being sold for human consumption before police intervention.
“He noted that the confiscated Ebola ponmo has since been transported to the ministry’s outstation at Johnson Agiri Office Complex, Agege, for disposal at the medical waste dumpsite in Ewu Elepe, in the Ikorodu area of the state.
“Dr Onasanya explained that other relevant agencies such as the Lagos State Waste Management Authority and environmental health officers have been duly informed of the discovery and the disposal exercise,” the statement said.
Recall that earlier in May, Police in Lagos had alerted Nigerians to the circulation of poisonous ponmo in the market (read here) and later on arrested six persons in connection with a trailer filled with poisonous ponmo (read here).
The ministry advised residents to be vigilant and report any suspected sales of unwholesome food items to the nearest local government secretariat or the state ministry of agriculture.
About 30 tonnes of dangerous ponmo were seized by the state government earlier this year.