Stella Dimoko Fruits Ripened With Carbide Killing Nigerians


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Friday, December 28, 2018

Fruits Ripened With Carbide Killing Nigerians

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For the family of the late Emmanuel Okwuke , banana and plantain have become forbidden fruits . No member of the family dares bring them home . This was after Emmanuel ’ s life was cut short after he consumed a bunch of his favourite fruit , banana , which he bought on the way home .

The former Information and Communications Technology Editor of
Daily Independent Newspapers first battled a damaged liver before giving up the ghost on December 24 , 2016 .

Two years after the incident his widow  Juli, said their life had been changed forever by the incident .
Recalling how it all started , she said , “ In March 2016 , he went for an event on Victoria Island and on his way back , he bought the banana at the Ketu market. My husband did not like late hour food and he always told me not to prepare food for him when it was late. So even the food they gave him at the event  he did not taste it . He brought everything home .

“ He started eating the banana inside the BRT bus en route to the house . On getting home around 12 am , I was inside the room when my mother, who had come to stay with us , woke me up to say my husband had been going to the bathroom since he returned from work .

“ I rushed there and he told me since he ate the banana he bought at the market, his stomach had been troubling him . He said he was in the office all day without feeling anything , until he took the fruit . He was also vomiting blood . ”

She said he was admitted to a general hospital for four days and later transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital , Ikeja , for tests .
The widow said it was there the fruit he took last was examined and it was discovered calcium carbide was used in the ripening .

She noted that after some treatment , her husband was fine until he relapsed in July of the same year and was in and out of hospitals until he died on the eve of Christmas .

His liver was said to have been damaged .

Emmanuel was survived by his wife and three girls ;
 Treasure ( 12 ) , Sharon ( 9 ) and Delightsome ( 3 ) .

Juli said banana had become a forbidden fruit in the family .

“ Before now , my husband bought bananas , plantains and all kinds of fruit in the house , which we all ate . And that particular Ketu was where he bought the fruit . We had a fridge reserved for fruits .
“ But now , everything has changed . I would rather plant fruits in my yard than buy outside . Even my second daughter usually says , ‘ Mummy , I cannot buy banana outside . It was banana that killed my daddy . ’ Even the last child , you cannot buy banana and give her ; she will not collect it . If I am not at home and any visitor brings banana as a gift , none of my children would take it , ” she added .

While fighting back tears , Juli said since her husband ’ s death , things had been hard for the family .
She said her dreams had been shattered by her husband ’ s most loved fruit .
“ When I pass by and see where plantains and bananas are sold , I point at it and say , ‘ See what killed my husband , ’” she added .

Calcium carbide , a poisonous chemical used in artificial fruit ripening , may be one of the silent , under -reported killers in Nigeria .

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says consumption of fruits ripened with carbide can lead to several diseases , including cancer .

Calcium carbide contains impurities such as arsenic , lead particles , phosphorus , which pose serious health hazards , can also cause heart , kidney and liver failures ,
NAFDAC had warned .

It said acetylene produced by calcium carbide affects the neurological system and reduces oxygen supply to the brain , which induces prolonged hypoxia .
Experts say because consumption of fruits ripened with carbide usually cause secondary diseases which are slow to manifest , it is often times difficult to get an official statistics of deaths linked to carbide .

NAFDAC began a sensitisation programme earlier in the year to educate traders on the dangers of using carbide to ripen fruits .

However , findings from field and laboratory investigations by our correspondent showed that not only is the substance still in use in some public markets , not many traders cared about its effect on the health of their customers .
Worse still , many Nigerians are unaware of its use and the danger it poses to their well being .

Although NAFDAC says it is criminal to ripen fruit with it , not a single person has either been arrested or prosecuted by the government agency.


  1. It is possible that he was poisoned where he went, he must have had a drink.

    1. U are disgrace....ur parents need a refund.....u need to go back to kindergarten.

      Go over d story again and come and edit ur senseless post

    2. It's so conspicuous that the Banana killed him, not poison, ok. Read through again.

    3. You should go back to your schools to collect your fees. You are a disgrace to you

  2. It's everywhere in Port Harcourt esp sold by Abokis'. Got one the other day and it turned black and hard in the fridge thankfully I didn't eat even one. I saw a video of Apples preserved with candle wax and I stopped buying. The wickedness of some people in this country in the name of making money baffles even the devil.

    1. I bought one banana like that at ikotun I didn't like the vibe I was getting from banana I just trashed everything and banana na my best fruit oo chaii
      Sorry for your loss madam

  3. No no too bad.God help us ooo.tomrw sniper

  4. I don't eat bananas but like ripe plantain a lot. I'll inform my parents and loved ones.

  5. plantain rippen by carbide has spot why natural ones are spotless.... BTW dy don't use carbide to rippen banana bcos banana requires a cool and moist place to ripe..tho using carbide could be harmful to human health

  6. Chai!!!!!!! Imagine my beloved banana killing somebody as a result of the wickedness of traders. I pray for somebody here today: you will not buy your death with your own money; the mistakes and wickedness of others will not lead to your downfall; the Lord will preserve you and your household in Jesus mighty name.

  7. Just passed Bishop Aboyade Cole,after d tee-junction,before first bank.

    I saw d abokis selling fruits there using detergents to wash their oranges.I just shook my head.

    1. Na their way ooo they will wash with detergent in the open no be hide hide thing and start pilling the oranges ones they dry

    2. Why do they wash with detergents?
      Ha! What is happening?

    3. Very true, that used to be my route for a while. Come to think of it, most fruit sellers do this same thing, that is washing the back with soap to make it appear clean, so how do we even know the ones that were not cleaned with detergent now? This is so stressful. One can't still eat ordinary fruits in peace again in this country.

    4. Detergents that are not even advisable to wash cars with.

  8. When I buy fruits I always always request for them unripe, something my mum taught us. I don't even know why she does it but I took after her and till this day I do so for my family.

    1. But we can't do this for a lot of these fruits na e.g the citrus family, apples, carrots and so on. Wetin man go do now. Will start going this your route for plantain and banana sha.

  9. I am eating banana right now, see how I rushed the bunch to check if its carbide ripen or not. God please save us from wicked traders. Amen

  10. May God protect His children.

  11. Bananas did not kill your husband Ma.

    It was that pesticide that did it.

    It is the same pesticide that is being sprayed on almost every fruit and foods.

    I hope that the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies will wake up from their perennial slumber and create nationwide awareness of this.

    People are dying like flies due to this. Not just bananas but almost ALL fruits.

    Buy apples and leave it on your table.
    It will stay for months without decomposing.

    In 2015, I bought a cucumber.
    I ate a part at night, and left the rest on a saucer by my bedside table.
    The next day I had to be out of town on an impromptu assignment.
    I came back a week later to meet cucumber UNCHANGED. If you've ever cut cucumber and left it out of the fridge you'll know that after a few hours it turns into a smelly mush of water.

    I left it like that on my table for ALMOST two months just observing. I had never heard of carbide then so I was scared and confused at what I just ate.

    When it refused to disintegrate, I threw it away.

    If you cannot buy directly from a trustworthy, emphasis on TRUSTWORTHY farm, at least exercise extreme caution about where you buy your fruits.

    They are selling plenty poison on the streets fam.

    Especially those apples with thier slippery wax like coating.

    1. You're wise my friend.

      It's indeed the chemicals/pesticides sprayed over the fruits. Precautionary measures, need to be implemented for the safety of what people consume and use. The country is a 'dumping ground' for anything or anyone monetarily speaking sorry to say this fact.

      Also, the Nigerian health bureau or board aka Nafdac needs to go over certain chemicals especially the use of DDT/DDE or PCBs.

      In the US, the EPA warns against using certain pesticides on produce and sets regulations on what is safe or banned and certain European countries, have regulations like this, to protect them and their environments too.

      I believe in his circumstances, he was exposed to high concentration/>LD50 of DDT which can affect the liver, or some other pesticide used to protect the farm produce (banana) from insects and other pests.

      Things need to be setup in Nigeria, to protect the people and the environment. We cannot continuously afford to be idle while people are dying from things that can be prevented or reduced. People need to start doing their jobs! I am talking about the health sector.

      I believe a new health board other than Nafdac, should be established to enable the regulations for all pesticides and insecticides usage in the country. I maybe wrong or right but, true facts.

      There are a lot of these chemicals banned both in America and Europe still used in developing nations like Nigeria.

  12. they now use snipper to preserve beans
    that's why you no longer see those insects that comes with beans.

    Please per boil your beans before cooking. God protect us

  13. haa, i use detergent to wash my orange,watermelon cucumber. i dont think its bad as long as its rinsed well. After all, we also wash our plates and spoons with detergent.

    1. U are d only one using detergents to wash plates.just like d human skin,oranges have little openings dt water can enter thru.

    2. I wash mine with salt instead, but that's even on days when I remember, and I honestly do not even know the rationale behind that, just copied and pasted from one of my friends who does it.

    3. There are liquid soaps meant for washiof plates. Try and get one.

  14. God forbid for something you love so much to send you to early grave. Nafdac should buckle up and start arresting them ASAP, this kidney problem and cancer is too much in our country now, it killed my hubby's elder brother last two years, and he loved fruits alot, who knows if it is the carbide that killed him too...chaiii. And my son's love for banana no be here...I have to be extremely careful now. Stella thank you for this informative post. God bless you.

  15. Come abroad and see stuff like this. GMO don kill people finish that's why cancer here na double, double. I feel sorry for Nigerians that go to shoprite rather than buy fresh farm produce. Ignorance kills...

  16. But foreign banana sold in Cotonou is clean without spot and even customised .God please protect your children .

  17. Chimooo!! and i can eat banana but that short, slim yoruba banana. that banana na sugar

  18. I once watched a documentary on this carbide and I got to know it's very deadly.

    The problem is how to convince this fruit sellers to stop using it.

  19. I’m not sure how true this is. Banana ripening is in stages. It first turns a nice shade of yellow then after a few day, it begins to have brown spots. I personally dislike it at the stage of brown spots because then it is very mushy and over sweet. I like it at the stage when it is a smooth yellow.

  20. Banana looking clean and fresh have nothing to do with carbide we used to sell bananas sometimes they come out clean I think another criteria should be used

  21. But according to the writer her consumed a whole bunch of bananas. Anyone would die from eating a bunch of bananas.

  22. That's a common knowledge, fruits & vegetable sellers r very dubious & poisonous people through greed. Many people r dying daily from hazardous contaminated food produce.
    The #1 poisoners today r all the food sellers, meat sellers, fruit sellers etc. Nobody knows the exact extent of their wicked handwork on unwitting people who buy & consume their food!!!


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