Four persons have lost their lives while one is hospitalised as a result of food poisoning in Mopa, the headquarters of Mopamuro LGA of Kogi State.
The family of five was said to have eaten yam flour meal (amala) and Okra soup which led to the death of the father and three children while the mother is in a critical condition in an undisclosed medical facility.
LEADERSHIP gathered that one of the deceased, Mr Tunde Motilewa, a farmer was said to have harvested cassava tubers and processed it with yam flour. A close family source revealed that they had earlier made Fufu from the same cassava that was processed with yam flour.
A youth leader in the community, Comrade Sunday Adeola Simeon, who narrated the incident, said, “It is ugly and disheartening. The family prepared a meal on Thursday night and they started falling ill after eating the food. One of them died on Friday morning and the other members of the family were taken to the hospital after complaining of severe stomach pain”.
Adeola added that two of them died later on Saturday while the other died midnight. He further disclosed that two of the deceased have been buried while the remaining two are currently in the mortuary.
While speaking with LEADERSHIP, the president of Mopa Welfare Society, Mr. Samuel Elere, said, “The manifestation looks like food poisoning but we have to wait for autopsy report. The body of the man had been deposited in Mopa Mortuary and it will be transferred to Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for autopsy.” The president added that “we have informed the police and they are involved in the investigation and I’m sure we will get to the root of the matter”.
The Elulu of Mopa HRM Julius Joledo who spoke through the Oba of Iloke-Mopa HRH (Engr.) David Ajolore said, “It’s a very bad time for us completely as a community and we have never witnessed such a thing before. Every family in this town is currently mourning and we are praying to God never to allow us witness this type of evil again.”
The royal father advised citizens to be calm as efforts are being made to unravel the mystery behind the incident.
Oba Joledo warned that the people of the community should be careful with statements that might instigate crisis as the government is already involved in the investigation process.
When contacted, the chairman of Mopamuro local government area, Hon Moses Sunday David, expressed sadness in what he described as heartbreaking and unfortunate. The council boss said that the entire community and the local government area has been thrown into mourning.
His words, “It is sad that we lost four out of the five members of the family with the mother responding to treatment in the hospital. Preliminary investigations suggest that the trouble started after the family’s last meal together. Samples of the remnants of the flour have been taken for laboratory examinations”.
The chairman added that “We shall see that the matter is properly investigated by relevant security and health institutions in a way to unravel the probable cause of the unfortunate incident.”