Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
Civil society groups and concerned stakeholders have called for stiffer penalties, if necessary, death penalty as the most effective way of dealing with the growing menace of the production and distribution of adulterated drinks and products in the country.
The duo of Charles Chinekezi and Comrade Goodluck Ibem, Chairman Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, Aba Unit and President- General Coalition of South East Youths Leaders, COSEYL, respectively spoke separately in an interactive sessions with the media in Aba on Tuesday December 12, 2023, noting that going by the grave danger posed to the lives of millions of Nigerians by fake and adulterated products, it has become absolutely imperative for the authorities to consider death penalty as punishment for perpetrators.
Their call is coming on the heels of the raiding and closure of no fewer than 250 shops and business premises at the Eziukwu Road Market, Aba in an ongoing operation by the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration, NAFDAC, against producers of suspected fake products
The NAFDAC operation which began on Monday December 11, had as at the time of reporting Tuesday December 12 seen the sealing of over 250 shops, arrests and detention of about ten people involved in the production of fake consumer items ranging from wines, elite spirit drinks, and beverages of all kinds.
“We are calling on the relevant authorities, particularly the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency take steps to amend the existing laws on fake and counterfeit products.
If need be, let death penalty be the punishment for adulterators, death penalty will serve as enough deterrent.
What the adulterators are doing is not different from crime against humanity. They are silently killing millions, including unborn children. Most pregnant women consume these counterfeit products and in turn the unborn babies are affected.” The duo of Prof Chinekezi and Comrade Ibem chorused.
Speaking with the media on Tuesday December 12, 2023 Martins Iluyomade, NAFDAC’s Director South East region, called for the temporary closure of the Eziukwu Road market to facilitate a hitch free operation by the agency.
“We have written to the Abia State government on the need for the market to be closed, while the operation last.
We want a conducive atmosphere for the ongoing operation, “Ilyomade stated.
Newscritic.com.ng reports that only about two months ago the Interim management Committee of Eziukwu Road market had advised traders and other users of the Market to shun all unscrupulous acts in the conduct of their business activities.
The Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo led leadership made the appeal during a special prayer session in October 2023, organized to rededicate the market to God, warning that it will not be business as usual for those engaged in sharp business practices.
As at the time of reporting, neither the chairman nor any members the management committee could be reached for comments.