Some consumers of bushmeat in Bayelsa say they are not bothered by the outbreak of monkeypox disease transmitted from wild animals to humans.
The disease has infected at least 13 people in the state, according to commissioner for health in Bayelsa Ebitimitula Etebu.
Etebu, who assured that the situation was under control, urged residents to be vigilant and wash hands after contact with wild animals.
He also warned against eating bush meat, a delicacy to many people in the state, as it is suspected to be one of the sources of contracting the disease.
But, some of the residents, who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the advice from medical experts to curb spread of the virus, urged the government to lay emphasis on hygiene and not to blacklist bushmeat.
Endurance Frank said he was still eating bushmeat, and dismissed the views that eating the delicacy posses risk of contracting monkeypox.
This is how they said Ebola is caused by bush meat. We wash ours here and cook it very well.
"The government officials who are handling the campaign against the disease should not use their job to kill the business of others".
Another resident, who patronises bush meat joints, Felix Okpu, said even the outbreak of the disease would not deter him from eating bushmeat.
He added that he was going to have his bushmeat delicacy at his favourite restaurant in Yenagoa.
"I must commend Bayelsa government for taking steps to curb the disease, but it is not enough to say that bush meat is the cause rather they should educate people on how to handle meat generally and not single out bushmeat which is our favourite here in Bayelsa,” he said.
Ogidobor Digha, who operates a bush meat bar in Otuoke, said her business was still thriving and yet to be affected by the outbreak of the monkeypox disease.