…by Paschal Okeke
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Friday, December 2, said 70 of its officials have been killed between January and November 2016.
Speaking at the end of the year management strategy session organized by the FRSC, the corps marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said the corps has declared war on reckless drivers.
Mr. Oyeyemi said the reckless drivers have been responsible for about 40 per cent of the deaths of FRSC officials on duty.
He said that although the figure was lower than the 160 deaths recorded last year, the trend was disturbing and needed to be addressed.
Mr. Oyeyemi said the FRSC had declared war on reckless drivers because such drivers were responsible for about 40 per cent of deaths of FRSC officials in active duty.
“I have been raising this alarm since last year that we are experiencing increase in violence among drivers and lawlessness. Losing 70 personnel is not a joke, may their souls rest in peace,” he said.
“It is sad to note that some killing and maiming of operatives, including those from sister agencies is very worrisome.
“A recent occurrence was the happening in Talata Mafara in Zamfara, where a motorist ran into the mobile court in session, killing three operatives almost instantly, including a civil defence operative.
“The occurrence is no doubt ironic and a sad commentary on road safety in Nigeria but must we give up on our country and abdicate leadership to mediocrity?”
Mr. Oyeyemi added that the government was working to address the problem.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the problem and was looking into it, adding that reckless drivers would always be made to face the wrath of the law.
He also said as of the end of Week 47 of this year, 4,005 deaths had been recorded from 7,657 vehicle crashes nationwide.
The corps marshal said as of last September, the commission had achieved 77.19 per cent crash reduction while 83.33 per cent level was attained in fatality rate reduction.
Mr. Oyeyemi said 99 workers of the company had been punished for indiscipline that entailed extortion and helping motorists to evade arrest.
He said further that 66 workers, comprising 10 officers and 56 marshals, were sacked while 33 had their ranks reduced because of cases of indiscipline.
Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), who was represented by Bamgbose Olukunle, the permanent secretary, political affairs in the office of the SGF, reiterated government’s commitment to road safety.
Mr. Lawal said although there were challenges in the country in terms of road administration, there were plans to address the issues, including approval of the recruitment of more than 4,000 people to meet FRSC’s set goals.