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Road Traffic Accidents Claim 1.2m Nigerians Annually -FRSC

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The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has disclosed that over 1.2million Nigerians die from road accidents annually, overtaking HIV/AIDS, Malaria, among other, as major harbingers of death in Africa’s most populous nation.
Speaking during the 2018 stakeholders’ roundtable with the theme: ‘Drivers’ Health and Road Safety: Taking Goal Zero Outside The Fence,’ organized by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Commission in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, the Zonal Commanding Officer, FRSC Zone 6, South-South, Assistant Corps Marshal Kingsley Agomoh also explained that road traffic injuries were among the leading 10 causes of deaths in both ‘lower-middle’ and ‘upper-middle’ income countries.
Agomoh stated that driving a vehicle on the road was an interesting, but complex task with severe safety consequences, particularly because of the huge number of death traps or bad spots on Nigerian roads.
He noted that “Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) have risen to become a global health problem due to inadequacies in policies and administrations in drivers’ engagements in road transportation activities.
Agomoh said that the problem was universal, but regretted that developing countries, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa were worst hit by the menace.
According to him, “26.6 per cent of road traffic fatality rate per 100,000 human population occurs in Africa”, while “24.1 per cent of global road traffic deaths per 100,000 human population is in Africa”.
Agomoh explained that, “the aggregate impacts of road safety neglects have resulted in huge loses to Nigeria’s economy, amounting to three per cent of annual Gross Domestic Products (GDP) with the effect being more visible as the economy expands”, insisting that “the country’s economy has lost $168,512,146.080 between 1960 and 2007, and $122,771,370.000 between 2007 and 2017,” (approximately N105,182,451,547.315)
He charged the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and other road transport operators to take ownership of their profession and ensure that they contribute meaningfully to the sustainable development of the nation.
Agomoh further charged the local government authorities and the law enforcement agencies, especially the police to ensure sanity at the various motor parks in the state with a view to ridding the society of illicit drugs and alcoholic drinks, which were the major causes of road accidents.
He further challenged other stakeholders to ensure that the public were enlightened on the best road safety standards and driving behaviours as well as enforce all relevant laws on traffic defaulters.
The FRSC commander said, “Enlightenment without enforcement is entertainment, so, we need to go a step further by ensuring more enforcement in order to save more lives.”
The Rivers Branch Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Ominiayebagha Kalango, said that the union would continue to sanction members found driving under the influence of substances.
Earlier while declaring the workshop open, SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr Igo Weli, said that the company was particularly worried on the spate of accidents that occur on the nation’s highways on a daily basis.
Weli said, many of the road accidents would have been avoided if drivers have the requisite skills and take seriously the safety of their passengers.
“In SPDC, health safety is a priority, in such that, it comes ahead of production of crude oil and other of our businesses. We believe that health is wealth.
“Today, our focus is on drivers’ health and road safety which is key element to maintaining sanity and reducing accidents on our roads.
“We are passionate about this because drivers move us and millions of Nigerians by road on a daily basis.” he said.

 

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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