Ebun Francis| The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has confirmed that substances behind strange illness in Kano state were laced with “hydroxylamine” — a chemical used for terrorism.
The outbreak of the strange disease led to the death of three persons, and hospitalisation of 183 others in the state.
In a statement on Sunday signed by Sayo Akintola, the agency resident media consultant, NAFDAC DG, Mojisola Adeyeye, said a preliminary investigation discovered that addictive chemicals in the drinks contained hydroxylamine.
“Having tested the addictive chemical, it was discovered to be hydroxylamine. It’s poison,” she said.
“Sometimes it’s used for terrorism. This is very sad because it involved people dying.”
Adeyeye said another unknown chemical was sold as a food addictive called ‘Dantsami’, which was kept in a transparent freezer bag.
“This chemical for 25kg bag was supposed to be sold for N30,000. One of the merchants got it for N3,000 and sold it to another merchant for N7,000,” she said.
“The merchant that got it for N7,000 thought it was Dantsami (Hausa name for “something sour”) that they normally use and tested to confirm that truly it was Dantsami.
“Dantsami is what is used in some parts of Northern Nigeria to make drinks sour. A twenty-five kilogrammes bag of the unknown chemical was also sent to the agency’s laboratory in Kaduna for testing.”
Adeyeye, who confirmed that the merchants of the chemicals have been arrested, however, urged Nigerians to be cautious of what they consume.