Hausa/Fulani vs Ijaw(Sapele), Their Drinking Patterns and the Dangers Involved

Over time, indigenous Nigerian societies discourage alcohol consumption amongst indigenes, yet international trends show alcohol consumption increasing in populations of developing countries, especially in Africa. Our country Nigeria is not left out.

Nigeria overtime recorded high levels of alcohol consumption. With little or no regulation of the alcohol industry, we have continuously seen Alcohol/beer making companies make millions of Naira week in week out. Have you wondered why we have never experienced a scarcity of beer in this country, even as we are always faced with an incessant scarcity of necessary commodities like petrol? Will it be fair to suggest that we close down NNPC and hand over the processing, exploration and distribution of petrol to Nigerian Breweries? Well, that is a gist for another day.

This write-up is geared towards applying the process of pragmatic investigations to uncover the drinking patterns of tribes around Nigeria, with the sole aim of highlighting the obvious and uncovering the inconspicuous.

Alcohol consumption (a couple of beers or a glass of wine). For some, it is just a way to relax and socialize with friends. For others, drinking can be a source of serious physical, mental and social problems. Alcohol affects men, women and young people differently.

There are specific health and social dangers to each group. It has been medically tested that alcohol consumption can lead to cognitive impairment, lightheadedness, giddiness, numbness, blurred vision and slurred speech and in a long run kidney-related illness. I will succinctly outline the 2 major tribes, their drinking patterns and the dangers associated with them

1. Hausa

The Hausa/Fulani people are constrained by their religion towards drinking alcohol. It is a crime in the North to be found drinking alcohol in public. But what we don’t hear often, is that the Hausa’s consume alcohol more than any other tribe in the country. They have devised means to secretly put this intoxicant into soft drinks, like Kunu and the rest. A study recently carried out by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) noticed that we had more people in the north using drugs than any part of the country. This can be attributed to the embargo on alcohol in that part of the country, remember that the Senate recently raised an alarm that the entire 19 states of the North faced serious dangers of a drug abuse epidemic. It said over three million bottles of codeine cough syrup are being abused daily in Kano and Jigawa states alone. While the movement and other logistics of three million bottles of codeine are rather difficult to comprehend and while it isn’t clear where the Senate got the statistic, the consumption of illegal mind-altering medical products, including cough syrup, appears to have become something of an epidemic in the North. And it is pertinent to state here that the intake of these drugs leads to cognitive and mental imbalance, cancer and most times death.

2. Ijaws

This list will not be complete without the Ijaws, you cannot talk about alcohol without giving our Ijaw brothers an honorable mention! They are one of the highest consumers of alcohol in the country, little wonder they have a brand of alcohol to their name ‘’Sapele Water”. The only tribe in Nigeria that have an alcohol brand, this is huge! This Sapele water is brewed naturally from that part of the country. The drink is a harsh dry gin mixed most times with flavors to dilute the alcohol. You don’t want to go into a drinking competition with an Ijaw man or you risk death. The health risks of consuming gin as an alcoholic beverage can’t be under emphasized, from problems of dehydration, lack of concentration, kidney related illnesses and some times death! It is obvious that excessive alcohol intake is an enemy to healthy living and long life.`

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Alamu Tosin

The writer is Alamu Tosin. I have three strong passions in life — football, blogging and movies — in that order. I love spending time with friends talking about the important things in life and hate nothing more than ‘authority’ and hypocrisy. My personal believe in life is that once an individual sets his/her mind to achieve something, it is totally possible. And oh!, I am a strong Lannister, because I always pay my debt. For writing or fixing gigs, contact [email protected].
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