A Non-Government Organisation, Sharing Education and Learning for Life Foundation, has called on the Plateau State government to enact a law that would ban the production, sale and consumption of a deadly and toxic brand of local gin known as ‘Goskolo’ in the state.
According to the NGO, such a law has become necessary due to the dangers posed by the deadly gin to the people, especially the youths in Plateau.
In an interview with journalists in Jos on Monday, the Programme Coordinator of the organisation, Beji Jibe, decried the rise in consumption of the deadly local gin and other illicit substances by a number of youths in the state, saying that it was affecting peace building efforts in the state.
”There is no where you have violent conflicts in Plateau that it will not be linked to goskolo or drug abuse,” Jibe said.
”We are here on a two-day training for CSOs and other stakeholders on policy influence and implementation.
”We have been doing a lot of work around peace building, but we noticed a lot of influence by external factors that doesn’t allow us gain the impact that we want.
”We felt certain policies need to be in place so that this work can be beneficial to the people,” he added.
Jibe noted that apart from the health implication associated with the illicit drink, its high intake constitutes a major set back to the peace building process in the state.
”One of the major challenges that we face is the issue of drug abuse, and it is directly linked to peace, particularly using the Plateau example.
”Over the years, in spite of all we suffered on the Plateau because of Goskolo, there is no law that prohibits its brewing and consumption.
”There is no where you have violent conflicts in Plateau that it will not be linked to goskolo or drug abuse in general.
”So, we are calling on the state to enact a law or put in place stringent and implementable policies that will ban the brewing and consumption of goskolo and other illicit drugs,” he added.
In 2016, the State Executive Council had presented a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to ban the production, sale and consumption of the local gin, but the bill was not passed into law by the lawmakers.