Lawyer threatens to sue FG over planned Ponmo ban
Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Onyekachi Ubani, has threatened to sue the Federal Government if it goes ahead to ban the chewable delicacy skin, popularly known as Ponmo in the country.
Recall that government said it was proposing to outlaw consumption of animal skin to revive tanneries. Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, Muhammad Yakubu, had explained the proposed legislation was necessary to revive the comatose leather industry in the country.
He stressed that the habit of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.
“To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are the only people in the world that overvalue skin as food, after all, Ponmo has no nutritional value,” Yakubu had stated.
But Ubani, in a statement, yesterday, opposed the move, arguing that Ponmo is mostly enjoyed by the citizens due to its affordability. He added that fish, meat and other proteins have become too expensive, thus, unaffordable by the common man.
He wondered why Nigerian leaders derive pleasure in inflicting pains on the masses in every aspect of governance. Ubani also queried why and how government always goes against the things the common man derive pleasure in.
He said: “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 always plan to take away that substance from their dinning 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 common persons chew while eating their meals of affliction.
“Is such government pronouncement and policy of banning Ponmo fair and just”
The lawyer, therefore, urged government to back down and ensure the policy does not see light of day.
“However, if they fail and refuse to abide with this free advice, they should be prepared for a prolonged legal suit that may end up in the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the illegal ban.
“I shall be prepared to undertake this public interest case on behalf of millions of Nigerians, who consider this delicacy too palatable to be taken off their meal table, more so, when it remains the only affordable substance that has a semblance of meat and fish while enjoying it. A word is enough for the wise,” he warned.