By Femi Adi ,Kaduna
Apparently worried about the daily causality figures of people ,who die through road accidents , the General Secretary of National Union of Textile ,Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) ,Comrade Issa Aremu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare state of emergency on Nigerian roads.
He also said there is urgent need for an emergency on road management to put am end to road carnage .
Comrade Issa Aremu , who stated this during a condolence visit to Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) ,Kaduna State Council over the loss of the former Council Secretary ,Chief Dominic Uzu to an auto crash said ,accidents don’t give notice, but they are preventable ,hence the need to raise awareness for need for road safety consciousness.
Aremu , who also the Vice President of Industrial Global Union and NEC member of NLC said : “The best way to mourn Comrade Dominic Uzu is to collectively put an end to cheap and callous wastage of human lives, (low or high alike) on our roads. Tears are not just enough.
According to him , there is equally an urgent need to rebuild Nigerian roads and ensure that safety rules are observed with a view of reducing road accidents .
The Labour leader further stated : “Seeing the poor survivors and dependents of victims of roads accidents should make us change our perception of accident victims as mere statistics! In the case of Comrade Dominic Uzu he left a wife, 4 children and several relatives and several colleagues in NUJ.
“The point cannot be overemphasized: Accident victims are agonizing humans (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, bread winners,) with all the valued human relationships suddenly terminated on account of avoidable “accidents”. A visit to a typical emergency/casualty ward in our hospital shows that road accidents do as much violence as terrorism does. Sudden deaths of working journalists and Nigerians in general further point to crisis of road governance in Nigeria.
“Nigeria today qualifies as an unofficial global capital of “road accidents”. Every year, over 39,000 Nigerians die from road crashes. In the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated road traffic fatalities in Nigeria at 39,802, while the estimated rate per 100,000 deaths stood at 21.4. Nigeria losses more humans on road accidents than 11,310 deaths reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone due to Ebola epidemic!
“We must halt this road-terrorism, or better still road virus called accident. An accident is defined as happening “unexpected” or “unplanned”. But according to the Zaria Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Abubakar Murabus-Tata, the accident which killed Dominic was as a result of over-speeding, involving two vehicles, (a DAF truck and a Toyota Hiace commercial Bus) and bad road (potholes).
“Most roads are unmotorable. Drivers are reckless and often our road safety officials are not on duty. When accidents prove addictive as they are in Nigeria, they are no more “accidental”. Addictive accidents mean incidents for which the governments at all levels must be held accountable.
“These “accidents” are certainly not inevitable. It’s time President Muhammadu Buhari declared emergency on Federal roads.
“There must be a time frame to fix all major highways and halt the ongoing road-murders.”