By Matthew Denis
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has flagged-off the 2017 National Mega safety campaign aimed at reducing road crashes to the barest minimum.
The programme held at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin, on Tuesday, was witnessed by the Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed represented by the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Aro Yahaya, FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, heads of security agencies in the state and the various stakeholders in the transport sector.
Speaking at the event, the Corps Marshal said that there was no ‘evil spirit’ responsible for accidents during the ember months as being speculated by members of the public, stressing the need for motorists to obey roads traffic rules and regulations to curb accidents on the roads.
He said, ” During the festive season, our roads are always busy with vehicles from all parts of the country travelling into the various states for yelutide. We are warning drivers and other road users to desist from making phone calls, drinking alcohol, overloading, chatting with passengers while driving.
“We want transport unions to sensitise their drivers to be cautious while driving and desist from driving under the influence of alcohol.”
The Governor harped on synergy among all stakeholders in the transport sector to curb illegal parks in the state.
He said: “As far as safety is concerned it doesn’t stop at driving on the roads but also the safety of parks and vehicles passengers enter for their journey is also important. So I urged you to work together in eliminating such illicit motor parks within the state.
“The government has been carrying out roads construction and rehabilitation and I’m assuring you that more roads projects are ongoing and filling of potholes will continue within the metropolis.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Alhaji Salman Ayoku pleaded with government at all levels to rehabilitate the roads across the state for safety of motorists.
According to him, the state of our road is largely responsible for the frequent cases of accidents.
“Most of these roads that were built around 70s and 80s during the oil boom became death traps by 90s due to poor maintenance and lack of upgrade
“In this regards, governments at all levels need to rebuild and upgrade these commonest means of transportation
“It is necessary to call government attention to the state of highways in the northern part of the country. No roads seems as worse as the roads there, especially the Jebba-Makwo road.
“We believe governments are working and we want to appeal that they hasten the work on Mokwa-Jebba road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and among others under construction”.
Ayoku stated that on the union’s part, it has setup committee that will monitor members while plying the roads and discipline them appropriately when they disobey traffic rules and regulations.