The Lagos State Government has reiterated that it will continue to apprehend importers of toxic and unwholesome products into the country and will prosecute the perpetrators of such criminal acts.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, made this known on Thursday at the Medical Dumpsite, Ewu Elepe, Ikorodu, during the destruction of a truckload of toxic “ponmo” which was seized a few days ago at Ijegun by the Igando/Ikotun Police Command and handed over the State government.
Dr. Onasanya, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Veterinary Services, Dr. Adeyemi Michael Olufemi, supervised the disposal and explained that the cowhide had been prepared with formalin and slate lime which is carcinogenic (can cause cancer), therefore unfit for human consumption.
While noting that the hide was supposed to be used as leather but was imported by unscrupulous people as consumable “ponmo”, Onasanya encouraged the public to report any suspicious and unwholesome product to the government for appropriate action.
He revealed that information available indicates that there are more unscrupulous elements involved in the dubious activities of selling the toxic ponmo mostly in the Ikotun and Igando axis, adding that the Police are already on their trail and that they would soon be apprehended.
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the support of other agencies such as the Primary Health Care Board, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and other agencies of government in the destruction of the poisonous “ponmo”.
FIRST BATCH OF LAGOS PILGRIMS LEAVE FOR SAUDI ARABIA
The first batch of 420 Lagos pilgrims participating in this year’s holy pilgrimage in Makkah and Madinah have departed for Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to the Press on the inaugural airlift exercise on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, the State Amir-ul-Hajj, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem disclosed that the first set of pilgrims airlifted were drawn from Agege Local Government; Ajeromi-Ifelodun; Alimosho; Amuwo-Odofin and others from the Pilgrims Board.
He said that the 420 pilgrims were the first batch of a total of 2,270 intending pilgrims travelling with the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
While expressing his immeasurable joy that pilgrims from Lagos were the first to be airlifted among the South West States, he mentioned that the flight which departed the airport at 11.00 pm in the night would travel directly to Medinah in order to ensure that the Pilgrims do not go through the stress of travelling by road from Jedda to Madinah.
Dr. AbdulHakeem added that the remaining Lagos pilgrims would be airlifted back-to-back from Wednesday 10th till Tuesday 16th July when the exercise is scheduled to be concluded.
In his remarks, the Chairman Ad-hoc committee for the 2019 Hajj operation, Alhaji Ahmed Jebe, commended the Board for the success recorded with the inaugural flight, assuring that the welfare of the pilgrims is paramount to the Committee, especially in areas pertaining to accommodation, feeding and health provision.
The pilgrims departed the airport with Airbus A330 operated by Flynas (a Saudi based airline) and were expected to land safely in Madinah on Thursday at 7.00 a.m Saudi Arabian time.