One thing one cannot take away from any Plateau indigene is the consumption of burukutu, a local alcoholic drink. Burukutu is cheap and easy to get as it is virtually in every nook and cranny of the state. Because of its relative cheapness compared to bottled alcoholic drink, burukutu has led to in many instances the collapse of marriages. Many that indulge in the drink tend to forget their matrimonial responsibility as they while away time running into several hours daily.
It is also said to aid prostitution as there are instances where women are used as a betting instrument between drinking men as to who drinks more than the other. As was told by a native, two men usually go to the drinking joint with either their girlfriends or wives and while the drink lasts, the one that eventually won the contest – that is who drinks more – goes home with the wife/girlfriend of the one that lost out. What a wonderful contest, one may say.
Some female victims of young husbands’ irresponsible bad values told Friday Magazine in Jos that drug and alcohol are two leading home-breakers among couples in the state.
Recently-married Anna who resides in Tudun Wada area of Jos told Friday Magazine in Jos that the reason she divorced her husband was due to the heavy drinking habit of her young husband.
She explained that hardly does a day passed by without her husband drinking to stupor, abandoning her and their two young children, in the cold hands of masquerading insecurity.
Anna said all her husband does as soon as he wakes from bed is to head for the local brew “burukutu’ bar within their home and returns home dead drunk and late in the night.
“My husband is a definition of a drunk, he staggers home most nights, people around our area mock me publicly because of my former husband’s drinking habit,” she said.
The young divorcee explained that she had her life to live and in the process of raising her children as good citizens, she relocated to her father’s house from where she could keep a job and feed the children.
Another victim of ‘an irresponsible’ husband, Maria Dabov accused her former husband of abandoning his responsibilities as a breadwinner of the family. She stated that her former husband was married to “goskolo” a locally-brewed gin.
In her words, “He comes home drunk and beats me up always and I got tired and had to separate from him to trade in yam and potato to feed my children.”
Maria vowed not to return to the marriage because she saw hell, adding that only God rescued her from the hell called matrimonial home.
She described “goskolo” as one dangerous local gin taken by many youths in the state, stating that it is one killer drink which has sent many people to their untimely graves in the state.
Investigations also revealed that drugs, especially the goskolo brew have also destroyed many homes especially among young couples.
Goskolo is also known as “ogogoro” in other parts of the country, but the local brew when imported to Plateau state from the south eastern part of the country where it is produced in a large quantity is remixed with other chemicals to make it stronger and hot.
Many residents of Jos do claim that goskolo is more dangerous, because it contains both ethanol found in other alcoholic drinks and methanol, another dangerous chemical to the human body.
Worried by the high consumption of alcohol in the Plateau, Governor Jonah Jang on assumption of office launched a campaign against the consumption of alcohol and restricted the activities of bars and beer parlours in the state, but many especially youths and women had greeted the restriction with negative feelings.
It was also revealed that the major flash points where goskolo and drugs are consumed in the Plateau include Howlse, Jenta Adamu, Tudun Wada, Anguwan Rukuba, Eto baba, Congo Russia and Kabong Gada Biyu. The investigation revealed that the dealers who sell the gin secretly to known addicts hail from the south eastern part of the country.
Adamu Ponlir, a resident of the state said those who sell goskolo usually do not drink the gin, and are not indigenes of the state.
Longji, a confessed addict, said youth unemployment is high and lack of social service scheme is the reason youths resort to goskolo to reduce their social problem.
Worried over the social destruction goskolo does to the development of the home in the state; some youths recently protested it, urging government to go after the users.
Joshua Amaki, a youth leader in the community said “we have resolved to do away with goskolo, because it has caused a lot of problems in our society and has taken the lives of many of our youths. It has rendered others weak and useless.”
Hon. Hassan also expressed concern about the consumption of goskolo, saying “it is unacceptable that many of the youths in our constituency are losing their lives to this gin.
“The youths must understand that goskolo does not only have a negative effect on their health, but also leads to social vices’, he concluded.
Bala Kugri another youth in the state however appealed to the state government to gainfully engage youths further, stressing that their employment would reduce their alcohol and drug intake.
It will be recalled that the state commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mrs Ngozi Madubuike, disclosed recently that over 185 suspects have been arrested for drug offences in the state this year.
According to her, 77 of those arrested had already been convicted while over 1,320 kilogrammes of different types of illicit drugs were seized from the suspects.
Mrs Madubuike noted that the drug rehabilitation centre under the agency has also admitted 85 addicts, while 40 of them had been treated and discharged.
According to her, the agency is presently upgrading its rehabilitation centre to meet modern standards.
She identified peer pressure and broken homes as some of the reasons the youth engage in drug abuse, stressing that drug abuse is not restricted to religion, class or status.
Madubuike noted that although the state is not a cannabis producing state, it has a high consumption rate but expressed fear that people may start producing it.
A lawyer Saminu Maikudi Kure also called on the state government to license most drinking Joints in the city.
In his words, “If liquor in the city is not sold to teenagers, it would regulate the number of divorces and separation in the state.” He further called on the state government to empower youths in the state.

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