Ogogoro and burkutu are mostly consumed by the Tivs and other people in North Central Nigeria.
The governor who was handed the Bill by the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Mr. David Mwar, said while the government did not heed to public calls to also ban burukutu, I had to go ahead with the ban on ogogoro because while the former serves as an energizer and food to the body, the later gives nothing other than destrying to the body system.
The governor also faulted allegations trailing the ban that it is being introduced to end the stiff competition between sellers of the gin and some top government officials who own wine bars in Makurdi, the state capital, saying, “yes, people take brandy and whiskey, the alcoholic content of brandy and whiskey is that of 40 percent downward”.
He said while ogogoro has a high level negative impact on consumers, brandy and whiskey are “refined to make sure that the impact on the body is not as serious as when you take this illicit gin”.
The governor also explained that the ban was necessary because while the consumption is “decapitating” the predominant farming population of the state, the distillers in the Southern parts of the country make money. This is just as he frowned at the reportage of the criticism trailing the ban by journalists who are indigenes, saying while the ban on alcohol generally is receiving positive press by indigenous reporters in Sharia compliant states, indigenes of Benue who should make themselves part of the ban are rather publicizing views of protesters.
Signing the bill, Suswam said, “inspite of those negative reports, the people of Benue State have spoken and as their representative and somebody who is given the mandate and sworn to the constitution to protect the people of Benue, I therefore assent my signature to this Bill”
Suswam urged the media to cooperate with the government to make the implementation a success story, saying the introduction of the ban is noble and must attract the full support of all.