By Prof. Molecule
The Akwa Ibom State government has warned its citizens against consuming cow skins (Ikpa Ebola or ponmo) currently being imported into the state by yet to be identified persons.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Uyo, the state capital, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Godwin Afangideh, said that the cow skin, often referred to as Ikpa Ebola or Ponmo had being the common cause of cancer and liver problems in the state.
The commissioner, who was represented at the briefing by the Director of Veterinary Services in the state, Dr. Obot Obot, said that the people who patronised cow skin were both exposed to cancer and liver problems as well as diarrhoea and hypertension, due to the high quantity of salt used for its preservation.
He stated that the government had embarked on sensitisation programme to create awareness on the danger of consuming cow skin meat.
He said, “The state government, through the veterinary services directorate of the ministry, has embarked on a sensitisation campaign in some markets in the local government areas to talk to the people about the danger of consuming such meat.
“The veterinary officer, who was in charge of the sensitisation campaign, went to different markets and talked to the people on the imperatives of how to watch out for toxic meat following reports of its importation into the country.
“Cow skin meat, which is five times thicker than ordinary skin meat, is injected with a toxic substance called formalin used for its preservation. This formalin in the long run is capable of causing cancer and liver problems due to high concentration of salt used for their preservation.”