ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for the temporary shut down of Cemetery Market in Aba, Abia State, for thorough sanitization.
This is following the alarming discovery of multiple centers involved in the production of fake products.
The ongoing raid, which started on Monday and continued on Tuesday, revealed an extensive network of shops converted into illegal manufacturing units for various counterfeit consumables, including wines, expensive drinks, and the revalidation of expiry dates for products.
Mr. Martins Iluyomade, Director of NAFDAC South-East Zone, expressed deep concern, likening the situation to a crisis worse than Boko Haram.
Iluyomade reported the discovery of 240 shops engaged in the illicit production, with numerous arrests made and ongoing efforts to apprehend those involved.
He recommended the temporary closure of the market for sanitization, emphasizing the need to eradicate the widespread production of harmful products affecting public health.
He said, “What’s happening here is worse than Boko Haram. We saw how too many shops were converted into manufacturing centres for all manner of wines, expensive drinks, and revalidation of date for expired products.
“We have the cooperation of the state government and so far we’ve discovered 240 shops used for this illegal manufacturing of fake consumables. About ten persons have been arrested and the arrest is still ongoing.
“What we have moved out from here, four trailers cannot carry it. It shows the extent we’ve gone so bad as a country and the extent of dangers these people are creating.
“No wonder we have all manners of health issues and the funny thing is that we use our money to buy this evil. Our DG is not leaving any stone unturned in getting rid of fake products in our market.
“I will suggest that this market be shut down for now until we sanitize this market for a while. We’ve written to appropriate authorities to that effect and we think it’s the right thing to do because when people are around, everywhere is rowdy.”
In response, the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) denounced the situation as a display of inhumanity and urged the National Assembly to consider capital punishment as a legal consequence for those involved in the production and marketing of fake products.
Comrade Goodluck Ibem, Leader of COSEYL, called for collaboration between NAFDAC and Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, to cleanse the Cemetery Market, removing bad actors while supporting legitimate businesses.
Meanwhile, the Aba Unit of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) labeled the situation as a form of terrorism, advocating for stringent actions against the perpetrators.
Prof. Charles Chinekezi, Chairman of CLO in Aba, stressed the importance of the consistent and determined efforts of NAFDAC and law enforcement agencies to deter future occurrences, citing previous raids that saw a return of offenders to such activities.