George Okoh in Makurdi
Tragedy has struck in Benue State as 11 family members who ate suspected contaminated food died in Ikobi community in Apa Local Government Area of the state.
According to a family source, the family members died due to poisoning from the food they consumed.
The 11 victims are: Adi Ale, Ochefije Ojo, Maria Ojo, Aipu Ochefije, Aboyi Ngbede Ochefije, Mary Ochoyoda, Ehi Abu, Blessing Abu, Peace Ochoyoda, Ojochono Daniel and Favour Edoh.
The source said six of the victims died in one day, the remaining five died later in the same week.
One of the bereaved family members, Ochoyoda Abu, lost his wife (Mary), two sisters (Ehi and Blessing) and a daughter (Peace).
The traditional ruler of Ikobi, Professor Mohammed Adah, said a similar incident had happened in September.
He said suspicion about food poisoning heightened when five of the victims died the same day in the community, adding that experts were invited from the state Ministry of Health to investigate the cause of deaths.
Adah said the results of the investigations were yet to be made available to the community.
It was learnt that there were those who also took ill after eating the food and were taken to hospitals. They were said to have since recovered and returned home.
While clarifying the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, said the victims died on November 14, adding that seven of the victims were confirmed dead in one
Anene said: “About three months ago, somebody died in that particular house so on November 14, a woman went to the house, cleaned the house and removed the foodstuffs from there which she prepared and 12 people ate and suffered stomach ache.
“Seven people died that same day and five were taken to the hospital and survived. However, investigation into the matter is ongoing.”