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Royal Lamentation: Help! Snakes killing my people in Kaltungo -Emir

Posted by By BASHIR UAMR, Abuja on 2008/04/30 | Views: 1238 |

Royal Lamentation: Help! Snakes killing my people in Kaltungo -Emir

Mai-Kaltungo, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kaltungo, Alhaji Sale Mohammed has cried out over the burgeoning population of snakes in his kingdom, saying the deadly reptiles are killing his people in droves.

Mai-Kaltungo, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kaltungo, Alhaji Sale Mohammed has cried out over the burgeoning population of snakes in his kingdom, saying the deadly reptiles are killing his people in droves.

Yet, according to him, the concerned authorities are not doing enough to curb the menace.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Sun in his palace, the paramount ruler of Tangaleland in Gombe State lamented: “Kaltungo is geographically located in a unique ecosystem that exposes us to a unique problem of deadly snakes.

These dangerous creatures, which keep breeding and multiplying faster than my people, are causing immense havoc to everybody in the land, particularly women and children.”

The concentration of snakes in his Kingdom, the Emir revealed, “is due to the rocky, hot and marshy nature of Kaltungo landscape, which provide an ever-attractive habitat for snake species like Cobra, Puff-adder and Carpet-viper, the most deadly snake in the world and, undoubtedly, my domain as Nigeria’s unopposed headquarters of killer-snakes for centuries now.

Corroborating the Emir, a victim at the Kaltungo General Hospital, Mallam Garba Idi, whose entire back-hand muscle had been peeled off, leaving only bones, told Sunday Sun that he was bitten by a Puff-adder snake while trying to remove a shirt from under his bed, preparatory to taking a nap.

Also, a little boy, Isa Adamu, narrated how he was attacked by a Carpet-viper while helping his mother to gather the remnants of harvested corn on the farm. He had inadvertently grabbed the body of the killer reptile, prompting it to attack him.

The revealed that in his attempt to rid Kaltungo of the killer snakes, he had offered a N100 cash reward to anyone who kills a snake.
The measure, he said, “was working effectively until some people started importing deadly snakes from other states into Kaltungo.”

According to him, “a professor came to the palace and said that the snakes should not be killed because the ecosystem here necessitates that they should be spared in order to survive on other creatures like rats and other rodents, which could develop into a social danger if the snakes are no longer eating them. Although we listened to him with courtesy, we knew that the lives of our people were not comparable to the lives of snakes,” the emir argued.

Though disappointed at the dismal attention given to the snake pandemic in the area, the royal father however praised the Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje for “paying attention towards anti-venom drugs.”

Nonetheless, he invited President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to visit the snake-infested states, including Gombe, and witness the menace, as evidenced in the number of victims in the General hospital.

Medic’s insight
The Medical Director of Kaltungo Hospital, Dr. Abu Lantang said: “The reason why snakes are too many here is the terrain. The environment favours the nature of snakes found in Kaltungo – Achis Ossullatos, technically, and “gobe da nisa” (Hausa for tomorrow not far). Because snakes don’t burrow into the soil, they find these rocky areas favourable, where they can lay their eggs under and the heat will incubate the eggs, and they will hatch. There are also deadly snakes even in the remotest desert.
“The environment here is Sahel grassland, stretching from the Benue areas. The concentration of this type of snakes also called Carpet viper is mostly within the Benue trough, stretching up to the Cameroun.

Hospital admission
On the average, Sunday Sun learnt that about seven snakebite victims are admitted to the hospital every day.
“We also admit patients from Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Plateau States. But most of our patients come from Taraba State,” doctor Lantang said.

Mortality rate
The mortality rate has been reduced due to availability of anti-snake bite venom provided by the Gombe State government and perhaps, due to the increasing awareness of victims to report to hospital quickly. So only those that fail to report to hospital on time that die from snakebites.
In 2000, there were 436 snakebite cases, out of which about 40 died. By 2006, only 18 deaths occurred, out of 1,700 reported cases.

“We have the polyvalent and mono-valent drugs in stock at present. Gombe State government, for instance, has been doing very well in providing funds for the drugs here. But the same effort is needed from other States, especially the six other most infested States of Taraba, Yobe, Bauchi, Plateau, Borno and Adamawa.”

Snake venom as gold
“Snake venom can provide a huge foreign exchange for Nigeria because since we produce the drugs by using the snake venom as raw materials, all the West African countries will depend on us when we are fully ready with the drugs. This is because we have most species of snakes in the sub-region. So there is an economic leverage here.”he further said.

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Comments (21)

robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

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Some fathers name their son that name maybe due to delay in child birth or sign to tell that they name still exist.