December 1, 2022

Buhari must reject call for banning of ‘ponmo’ consumption – Ex-Rep, Faparusi

A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to reject calls for the outright banning of the consumption of cow leather, a delicacy called “Ponmo”, saying such policy will harm the Southwest economy.

The immediate past Ekiti State Commissioner for Public Utilities, reminded that many Nigerians, particularly people of the Southwest didn’t only consume the delicacy in large scale, but trade in it, and that such individuals will be sent out of the employment market in brazen fashion, if effected.

In the same fashion, Bamidele warned that such a policy would deal a big blow on the popularity of the All Progressives Congress in the Southwest, being the region known as a major consumer of the delicacy.

The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, NILEST, Zaria, Muhammad Yakubu, recently made such proposal in Abuja. saying the policy will promote leather production as provided in the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975.

But the former federal lawmaker, who gave the advice in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, during an interactive session with journalists on the issue, warned that the proposed ban will throw many Nigerians back to the unemployment market.

He said the unemployment will be caused through displacement of many traders out of their businesses and means of livelihoods.

Faparusi said: “Ponmo is a known delicacy of the people of southwest Nigeria. Ponmo is not a hard drug, it is not harmful to the body. Sugar is harmful to people living with diabetes. Salt is harmful to people living with high blood pressure. Can we now say that this item be banned?

“Or what is the nutritional value of salt aside from taste. In fact, Ponmo is recommended to elders instead of red meat. Yes, Ponmo may not have nutritional value, but it is a harmless delicacy.

“I see this proposed ban as an attempt to pitche the people of the southwest against one another in order to make APC look bad in the eyes of the masses in the region.

“It is a mischievous proposal against APC in the southwest. We reject it and demand that those behind the proposal should forget this ignoble idea.

“Some will say what is in Ponmo that is capable of affecting the outcome of the 2023 elections. Ponmo is the only affordable alternative to meat and fish for the masses,who are struggling to cope with the current economic challenges facing the country. Any attempt to take this away from them may cause revolt.

“Furthermore, this is not a time to even suggest controversial policies. Campaign or partisanship apart, one of the responsibilities of good governance is to make sure you don’t inflict more hardship on the people.”

Going down memory lane, Bamidele stated that such policy was once rejected when the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was vying to be president of Nigeria in 1979.

“The southwest in particular will definitely resist the suggestion and it’s better to bury that idea immediately,” he advised.

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