An NGO, Sharing Education and Learning for Life Foundation, has called on the Plateau State Government to enact a law that would ban the production, sale and consumption of Goskolo, a strong local gin widely consumed in the State.
According to Mr Beji Jibe, the Programme Coordinator of the organisation in an interview on Monday in Jos, ”There is no where you have violent conflicts in Plateau that it will not be linked to goskolo or drug abuse”.
Mr Jibe decried the rise in consumption of the deadly local gin and other illicit substances by a number of youths in the state, saying that it was affecting peace building efforts in the State.
”We are here on a two-day training for CSOs and other stakeholders on policy influence and implementation.
”We have been doing a lot of work around peace building, but we noticed a lot of influence by external factors that doesn’t allow us gain the impact that we want.
”We felt certain policies need to be in place so that this work can be beneficial to the people,” he said.
According to Jibe, aside the health implication, high intake of goskolo constitutes a major set back to the peace building process in the state.
”One of the major challenges that we face is the issue of drug abuse, and it is directly linked to peace, particularly using the Plateau example.
”Over the years, in spite of all we suffered on the Plateau because of goskolo, there is no law that prohibits its brewing and consumption.
”There is no where you have violent conflicts in Plateau that it will not be linked to goskolo or drug abuse in general.
”So, we are calling on the state to enact a law or put in place stringent and implementable policies that will ban the brewing and consumption of goskolo and other illicit drugs,” he called.
A 60-year-old resident of Tudun Wada in Jos North Local Government Area, Mrs Martha Paul, whose son got addicted to the local gin and eventually died, said the ban would curtail the challenges.
Recall that the State Executive Council had in 2016 presented a Bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to ban the production, sale and consumption of the local gin, but was not passed into law by the lawmakers.