Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday took a swipe at drivers of vehicles in convoys of government officials and dignitaries, saying they were part of the causes of the carnage on the nation’s roads.
The sultan, who spoke at the 6th annual lecture of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Abuja, said most divers of vehicles in dignitaries’ convoys were careless and violently harass other motorists off the roads, often leading to auto crashes.
He expressed sadness that officers of the FRSC always failed to stop and caution such drivers, and charged the corps to do the “unimaginable” by arresting any dignitary or convoy driver who is reckless.
Sultan Abubakar, who is a Special Marshal of the corps, urged the Corps Marshal to give Special Marshals the power to arrest motorists who drive wrongly.
According to him, over-speeding is not the only cause of road accidents because; “If you maintain your car properly, avoid the use of cell phones while driving, check your tyres and ensure that every part of the car is in order, there will hardly be accidents on the roads.”
He called for the implementation of use of the speed limit device in vehicles to control over-speeding.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, said there was the need for collaboration between the FRSC and the states on road management.
He said the present administration was committed to human safety as well as security on the roads, and called for the training of drivers of government officials.
Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, said the major challenge of the corps had been how to deal with drivers and ensure proper roads and vehicles for the protection of lives. He said the corps would continue to ensure the use of advocacy and enlightenment programmes to pass the message of effective road safety to the people.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, noted that prior to the new regime of traffic management in his state in 2000, an estimated loss of N42 billion worth of man-hours was recorded annually as a result of chaotic traffic situations.
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