There is anxiety in the ancient town of Ondo Kingdom in Ondo State over the death of three members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Oka Motor Park in Ondo, Causes of their death, which occurred at the weekend was still sketchy as at the time of filing this report.
But it was rumoured in the town that the trio died shortly after consuming herbal drink made of local gin, also known as ‘ogogoro’ to treat dysentery and fever.
It will be recalled that the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju had about two weeks ago declared a ban on consumption of local gin following the outbreak of strange disease in Ode Irele, Irele Local Government area of the state, which was believed to have been caused by consumption of the methanol poison. It led to the killing of about 30 people.
A source disclosed that the trio, had on Saturday morning, shortly after drinking the concoction, complained of severe stomach pain and later became unconscious.
It was added that their colleagues, in trying to revive them, gave them some local antidotes but it was to no avail as they gave up the ghost in the evening.
Speaking on the incident, a chieftain of the union in the garage, who did not want his name mentioned, expressed shock and sadness over the death of the victims, saying the death could be as a result of the herbal drink.
He disclosed that the seller of the herbal drink, who is said to be a regular supplier of the drink to the motor park, had taken to his heels immediately after the incident for fear of being arrested by the security agents.
He added that consumption of the said herbal mixture was not a new thing in the park as all of them drank it on daily basis without any negative effect on their body system.
It was also gathered that the deceased had been buried according to the Muslim rites without undergoing any autopsy to confirm the real cause of their death.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Mr Wole Ogodo, explained that the matter had not been formally reported to the police.
“When I called the DPO of the Enuowa Police Division in Ondo, he said nobody had reported the case at the police station, that they too heard it as a rumor in the town.