NAFDAC Bans Sniper Insecticide In Supermarkets, Open Markets

NAFDAC Bans Sniper Insecticide In Supermarkets, Open Markets
The Federal Government of Nigeria under the mandate of The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has banned the popular insecticide and pesticide product Sniper.

The federal government yesterday placed a restriction on the sale and use of the fatal agro-chemical product.

This ban is as a result of the high rate of the use of Sniper insecticide for Suicide in Nigeria. Of recent the fatal tonic has been the choice of individuals who seek the easy way out.

Since Sniper hit the Nigerian market, it has become the favorite of most Nigerians, for killing mosquitoes, bed bugs, cockroaches and other pests. But unfortunately the product has found its way into the hands of people, who have continued to use it to commit suicide.

In recent times, several Nigerians have committed suicide at the least provocation including failure in examinations, jilt by loved ones, depression, frustration and so many other reasons.
Some well known examples include:
Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), allegedly drank two bottles of Sniper insecticide leading to his death on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Friends say Late Akachi had a long battle with depression before his death.
Similarly, a young man identified as Segun, also consumed a bottle of the harmful substance live on social media after getting a low score in the recently released university entry examination JAMB.
Somewhere in Ekiugbo community in Delta State, a teenage girl aged 18, Loveth, would consume three bottles of Sniper, because she couldn’t meet JAMB’s cut-off mark for studying the course of her choice, Medicine. This is despite the fact that she had been assured of admission into a polytechnic by her father. A moment after the father-to-daughter persuasion, she discreetly strode a few meters from her mother’s shop, purchased three bottles of Sniper insecticide, gulped them all inside her room and passed away.
Late last year, Aisha Omolola, a student of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, committed suicide, upending a bottle of Sniper insecticide down her bowel. Aisha's suicide sparked a lot of controversies on social media, due to the mysteries attached it.
Seun Omogaji, popularly known as DJ XGee, would also consume the Sniper insecticide, after an alleged unresolved marital crisis with his wife. Ironically, he reportedly performed at a New Year party on the eve of his suicide, excited and full of life. Yet, to the perplexity of his fans on social media, DJ XGee would post a cryptic death note on his Instagram page some hours after, asking them to “please rock white (to his funerals) because (he) loves the color so much.”
Orumah Efemenah, having spent five years studying Pharmacy at the Delta State University, Abraka, was visited by his father who had come to scold him for not performing well in his grades much unlike his younger ones. It seemed this didn’t meet Orumah well, so that he decided to end it all, washing down his frustration with two bottles of Sniper.

It is against this background that the federal government yesterday directed that the product be withdrawn from the open market with immediate effect.
The government’s directive, which will be enforced by the National Food, Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), was made public in Ibadan, Oyo State.
By the order, the agency will ensure that all agro-chemical dealers and other stakeholders remove Sniper from both the open market and supermarkets across the country with immediate effect.

NAFDAC’s director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, Dr Bukar Usman, stated this at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
Usman, who spoke at the launch of a new herbicide for cassava farmers, “Lifeline”, produced by UPL, Springfield Agro and IITA, explained that the agency had asked agro-dealers to stop the sale of the product in the open market and supermarkets.
He said that Sniper is an agro-cultural product meant for use only in the farms and not for households.

For the full enforcement of the restriction, he charged manufacturers and dealers to cooperate with NAFDAC to mop up the 100ml size of the product, which was cheap and easy to acquire.
Usman said that the directive was not an outright ban on the product but a restriction of its use and availability to farms alone, adding that all agro-chemicals meant for farms should not be used in households.
He said: “There are appropriate products for the control of mosquitoes and other household pests” he said.
Reacting to the development, the president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, told LEADERSHIP that NAFDAC has a responsibility to safeguard the health of Nigerians. According to him, if a product that is supposed to be used for vectors and diseases is being used by humans to kill themselves, it behooves NAFDAC to take action.
He, however, said that while NAFDAC is taking the measure, the government holds it a duty to find out why more Nigerians are committing suicide.
Ohuabunwa said: “If you ban this product, what else are they going to use. Is NAFDAC going to keep banning products? It’s important to try and find out what it is that is making people, especially the younger ones to commit suicide so we don’t end up banning everything that is available.”

Also, a family physician with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and former chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Chira Obiora, said that though the move was commendable, “it is not the solution to the problem.”
Obiora said: “A lot of people drink a lot of things when they want to commit suicide. Withdrawing Sniper does not make it not to be seen. There are several other things that can be taken to commit suicide.

“There are positive uses of Sniper insecticide, banning it is not the approach. If you want to solve a problem, you will solve it from the root. When people jump into the river, will you go and dry up the river. It is not the right thing to do so that we don’t end up increasing the rate of depression by also causing depression on the people that are importing Sniper,” he said.

A Nasarawa State-based lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Kuza, said that Sniper has caused more human death than we could imagine.

Please do leave a comment about your view on the ban on Sniper insecticide and it's suicidal tendencies.

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