Nigerian Customs Service Warn Against Consumption of Disposed Birds
The Nigerian Customs Service, Onne Ports Command has warned the public against the consumption of the disposed frozen chicken at a dumpsite along the Eleme section of the East – West Road, in Ejamah Ebubu, saying the birds are not good for consumption.
Recently a large population of people were seen excavating frozen chickens from the dump site where the Nigerian Customs officers disposed ten containers of imported frozen chickens and turkeys.
Eye witnesses at the scene expressed fear that the excavated contaminated birds may end up in the market as frozen foods and will be sold to the unsuspecting members of the public.
Speaking to the media in her office the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service, Onne Command, Eunice Nwaja said that the 14ft Container loads of chickens were destroyed with the assistance of the National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) because it was found that the preservatives used for the chicken were the same used in embalming corpse.
According to Nwaja, “It is contaminated contraband good; therefore, not good for human consumption”.
She maintained that, “We have been advising the general public that the birds are not good, and that the chemicals used for corpses were used for the preservation processes, making the birds unfit for human consumption”.
Nwaja observed that consumption of contaminated birds could be advanced as one of the reasons there is high rate of cancer in the country.
The Customs spokesperson warned that the service has mobilized security officers to protect the dumpsite; stressing that the Customs Command will arrest and prosecute anyone who tries to excavate the poisonous frozen chickens from the dumpsite.
“We have been telling them that this thing is not good for human consumption but they will not understand”, she lamented.
“The truth is that we have taken the birds to the laboratory and we found out that it is not fit for human consumption,” she revealed.
“If we catch anybody there, we will punish the person so that others will take precaution,” she threatened.
Residents in Ebubu and Onne said that the birds were not properly disposed, and that the Customs Service erred by dumping contaminated birds without seeking permission and advice of the landlords and local residents. They queried why Customs should dump such dangerous contrabands in someone’s land without his consent and at a place, and in a manner that is easily accessible to the general public in the face of biting poverty, crushing joblessness and acute frustration? They are wondering what will happen to under-ground waters in years to come as result of the dump. The landlords in collaboration with Eleme Research Foundation (a nongovernmental organization) are already contemplating legal action to force Customs to clean up the polluted environment now and protect their land and underground waters from further pollution arising from the dumped birds.
Our investigation revealed that it is the same chemical known as formalin (formaldehyde) used for fixatives, (i.e. embalming dead bodies), which was recently used to brew the killer kaikai that was used to preserve those birds.
In the meantime, Press Secretary in the Rivers State Ministry of Health, Mr. Paul Bassey said efforts are being intensified to mop up the frozen chickens that were imported by fraudulent businessmen from circulations.
Mr. Bassey warned the general public from buying birds at low rates from the markets.
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