By Peter Duru
MAKURDIâ€”Despite repeated protests by youths of Benue State, the Benue State House of Assembly has passed the Bill prohibiting the brew, transportation, sale and consumption of the locally brewed gin popularly called â€˜â€˜ogogoroâ€™â€™.
However the passage of the Bill has attracted the angry reaction of youths of the state who have insisted that the law is targeted at the very poor in the society,
In their protest letters made available to Vanguard, they picked holes in the entire exercise saying that â€œtop government functionaries own wine bars across the state capital where assorted gins which are also considered dangerous to human health are sold to the rich yet no one deemed it fit to close down the joints because such places are meant for the rich. We will resist this law except they also close down the wine bars meant for the affluent in the state,â€ the statement read.
The Bill which went through third reading Tuesday, was passed after heated debates by members who held divergent views on the provisions and body of the piece of law.
Leading debate on bill, the Chairman House Committee on Health Mr. Yakubu Ochepo, intimated the House that after embarking on a state wide tour to illicit the reactions of the people, the committee deduced that the sale and consumption of the local brew was being driven by high rate of poverty and unemployment amongst the youths.
Contributing to the debate Dr. David Orjime, representing Gboko West constituency in the Assembly regretted that â€˜â€˜ogogoroâ€™â€™ has taken the centre stage in the lives of the people of the state which according to him has relegated â€˜â€˜burukutuâ€™â€™ a choice local alcoholic brew to the background with its attendant economic consequences.