The people of Mopa town in the Mopa-Muro Local Government Area of Kogi State have been thrown into mourning following the mysterious death of four members of a family after reportedly eating a cassava flour meal known as ‘Amala.’
The deceased died in quick succession between Friday, September 30 and Sunday, October 2.
Those who died included the family head, Pa. Motilewa, two daughters and a girl who is said to be their relation.
One of the deceased daughters identified as Motun was a National Certificate of Education holder and teacher in the town. The mother, however, miraculously survived.
The event has left residents of the town and the entire neighbourhood in mourning, fear and confusion, with many calling for an investigation into the death of the family members.
It was gathered that the family prepared the ‘Amala’ meal from the leftover cassava flour from which they had previously made and eaten ‘Fufu’. They were said to have spread the processed shafts in the sun to dry for some days.
The dried flakes were subsequently grinded into soft powder which was used for ‘Amala’ which they ate on Thursday evening, before retiring to bed.
An eyewitness reported that the victims became sick overnight and efforts were made to stabilise them. Unfortunately, the youngest member of the family passed away on Friday, quickly followed on Saturday by the relation living with the family.
With the sudden passage, the others were moved to the highly rated ECWA Hospital, Egbe, for better medical attention.
Sadly, the eldest of the daughters, Motun, gave up the ghost at about 3:00 am Sunday. The father also died later the same Sunday.
At the time of filing this report, the mother, identified as Molomo, was still alive in the hospital and under close observation.
Members of the community are said to be suspecting foul play in the sudden death and have, therefore, suspended the burial for proper investigations to unravel the cause of their deaths.
“We are shocked. I have never seen a thing like this. We suspect that someone may have poisoned the food. For what? We cannot tell. I’m confused and in pain. This is too much to bear,” a member of the family lamented.
Earlier in August this year, five persons lost their lives after eating a cassava flour meal prepared at their family house in Usugnwe-Okaito, Okehi local government area of Kogi State.