The rising intake of dry gin, popularly known as goskolo, in Plateau State has become a source of worry to parents, community leaders and health practitioners.
Experts said that goskolo, which is known generally in Nigeria as ogogoro or kai-kai, is far stronger than the average alcoholic beverage.
Some parents said the drink was negatively affecting their children and was increasingly responsible for social vices in many parts of the state.
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Mrs Martha Paul, a 60-year-old resident of Tudun Wada community in Jos North LGA, said, “I lost my son to goskolo. He was hooked on it and it killed him.”
The petty trader said that her late son was a 300-level student of the University of Jos (Unijos) when he died in 2022.
She explained that, “My son developed complications that later affected his internal organs due to high consumption of the illicit drink.
”As we speak, my heart is heavy. No mother should experience my pain. This is why parents must pay close attention to what their children do.
“I also want to appeal to young people to desist from taking illicit substances. Drug abuse is generally dangerous to our health and society.” She also called on the government to ban the production and consumption of goskolo, insisting that such a step would curtail the challenges that usually arose with its consumption.
On his part, Mr Agwom Azi, the community leader of Mado in Tudun Wada area of Jos, attributed the increasing rate of petty crimes and other social vices in the community to intake of hard drugs by young people.
He said, “I will be very happy if the government and other relevant organisations address the spate of drug abuse in Plateau.
“Petty theft and other social vices are on the rise in most communities. Young people have abandoned school and other meaningful ventures, opting to indulge in the consumption of illicit substances.
“Presently, I’m handling a case where a young man impregnated his younger sister because he is always high on ogogoro.
“Children beat up their parents at the slightest provocation and physically abuse other people because they are under the influence of goskolo.
Meanwhile, Dr Victor Shehu of the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, described as alarming the excessive intake of dry gin and other illicit substances by youths in the state.
Dr Shehu said, “The situation is responsible for the rise in cases of liver and heart-related problems among young people in the state.
“The intake of the unprocessed gin and other alcoholic contents has a direct link to cardiovascular diseases and increased risks of heart attack.
“Excessive consumption of goskolo and other illicit substances can have harmful effects on the liver, kidney and heart.
“Frequent consumption of dry gin, especially in excess, can have long-term effects on the brain and body.”
It would be recalled that the then governor Simon Lalong in 2016 sent a bill to the House of Assembly seeking to ban the production, sale and consumption of goskolo in the state.
The bill, however, did not pass through the process required to become law. (NAN)