…Ubani, other lawyers head to court
THERE are indications that federal government may impose ban on the consumption of hide and skin meat, locally known as ponmo or kanda delicacy by Nigerians.
Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Zaria, Muhammad Yakubu, dropped the hint in a media forum in Abuja, yesterday.
Blaming demand for ponmo meat delicacy for Nigeria’s dying leather work industries, Prof Yakubu said NILEST is proposing a legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin in order to revive leather industries the country.
“To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are the only people in the world that over value skin as food, after all ponmo has no nutritional value. At a point, there was a motion before the two chambers of the National Assembly, it was debated, but I don’t know how the matter was thrown away. The consumption of animal skin is partly responsible for the present comatose state of tanneries in Nigeria. If we get our tanneries, our footwear and leather production working well in Nigeria, people will hardly get ponmo to buy and eat,” Yakubu said.
Commenting on the development, former Senator Representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani said the proposed ban is timely.
According to him, apart from lacking nutritional value, ponmo consumption also exerts serious strains on the nation’s leather and textile sectors.
However, Nigerian lawyers under the auspices of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have threatened to sue federal government if ponmo consumption is banned in the country.
Chairman of NBA-SPIDEL, Dr. Onyekachi Ubani said the association will take legal action against the federal government if it goes ahead with the planned ban.
According to Dr. Ubani, ponmo is the common delicacy enjoyed by many Nigerians due to its affordability as fish, meat and other proteins have become very expensive and unaffordable by the common man in Nigeria.
Ubani also wondered why policy makers and political leaders derive so much pleasure in inflicting pain and agony on the suffering masses in every aspect of governance, even as he queried why the government always clamps down on the things that give joy and pleasure to the common man.
“The truth is that ponmo remains the most constant meat-like substance in stews and soups in many kitchens and it beats our imagination that every government in Nigeria has always planned to take away that substance from the people’s dining tables. While politicians and rich Nigerians chew all manner of proteins in their sumptuous meals with their loved ones, they have become restless and jealous of the only thing that the poor masses chew while eating their meals of affliction,” he said.