Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mr. President, Nigerian Roads Are Destroying Our Best Assets, Human Beings

Mr. President, Nigerian Roads are destroying our best Assets, Human Beings

In recent days more than a hundred people, including children, have reportedly been killed across the country. These deadly collisions most often involve trailers, tankers and buses across the South, North or West and lives are being lost in greater amount due to lack of urgent official response in terms of rescue and medical aid.
Many of these crashes often result in fire or explosion burning for hours making the number of fatalities higher and worst of all, the identity and the numbers of actual victims usually remain unknown.

Mr. President as the leader of a wealthy oil African nation why are our roads still in worst shape and marked with massive potholes, poor paving, and poor lightening which is further complicated by lawless and hostile drivers?

The Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission an unusual name for a law enforcement body, has a rescue style that often comes very late to the accident scene with very little or no appropriate technology to aid the victims.

The same problems lies with other traffic management agencies like the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and other state and local government traffic control agencies.
And the real agency that is the Nigeria Fire Service is hardly seen around, and even if its staff is able to show up they usually come with no suitable equipment and necessities, in terms of functioning pumping machines, water hoses and water availability.

As the President calls for prayers in regards to national transformation lets confront the evil of the Nigerian roads that are for the most part not real routes in the civil, mechanical or behavioral sense as they remain impassable and deadly.
The Nigerian Police Force in its style of traffic management remains crude at best, but we cannot put all the blame on the police as its officers are products of an almost ruined system, in the institutional health.

Who will like to maintain traffic rules in roads that lack updated or posted speed limits, lack adequate lighting, emergency telephones, rest spots, control of armed bandits and continue to lack operational rules in regards to curtailing abandoned vehicles?

The known check-points set up by the police, mainly in busy highways have a history of being grounds for serving as centers of unmanageable traffic jams, points for bribery negotiation and in some cases sites of deadly accidents.

Mr. President, it is not uncommon to find victims of fatal accidents rotting away along the highway and in nearby bushes. It is extremely common to see our roads filled with the influence of drunk drivers, under age drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, over speeding, and sleeping drivers on the steering, and poorly skilled drivers. It is time for us to vividly see functioning emergency services for distressed callers. It is time we see major sweeping improvement in the emergency highway services, traffic system, electric power, police and road safety systems. It is also time that the psychological trauma, emotional discomfort and national disaster from these fatal accidents on families and the country be addressed as our nation often remain indifferent to psychological services. It is worth noting that majority of our road accident victims are young adults, mostly males, and there goes the nation’s human assets of today and the future.

~ By John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D.

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