… Stages 24 Hours Surveillance in Airport Road, ors
…Redoubles Effort in Public Enlightenment Campaign
By Saviour Ekpe
The Akwa Ibom State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has deployed 687 personnel across the 31 local government areas to ensure safety of lives and property especially during the yuletide period.
Speaking to Century Newsfront in his office in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital recently, the Akwa Ibom State Sector Commander, Mr. Oga Samuel Ochi said that the 2020 yuletide season would be marked by general safety consciousness as the command has put in place measures as well as deploying officers across the state, “we have made massive deployment of 687 personnel across Akwa Ibom State to ensure compliance to traffic rules during this ember months”. He further explained that in all the 31 local government areas in the state, he has created the presence of Federal Road Safety Corps to enable them reach out to people in the local communities for enlightenment. He applauded local government council chairmen’s cooperation in providing accommodation in their localities to the personnel. While explaining the core mandate of his personnel at the local government level, the Sector Commander noted that in order to meet up with the world best practice, indigents of the state are majorly of those sent to the LGAs who will be able to communicate fluently in the local language, with the main aim of carrying out public enlightenment; taking statistics of crashes among others.
The Corps Commander identified Itu/Calabar High Way and the Airport/Oron Roads as flash point, described them as Help Areas. He maintained that these two areas experienced more crashes and that informed the command to strategically set up a-24-Hours surveillance fully equipped with medical facilities, tow truck and other first aids equipment in case of any crash or emergency around those areas.
Mr. Ochi explained that between January and October, 2020 – Akwa Ibom State had had about 72 crashes. Out of this, 16 people died, 96 people had injuries of various degrees while about 226 persons involved and rescued during this period. He identified human, mechanical and environmental factors that contribute significantly to road crashes, noted that human factor such as over speeding, behaviour of drivers on steering, occupants of the vehicle, pedestrians and even animals on the road contribute about 95 per cent of road crashes, “apart from ensuring safety on the road, we also ensure the observation of COVID-19 protocol, which implies arraignment of vehicles on the way. We expect that all vehicles load 50 per cent capacity of their vehicles to ensure that people have enough space to prevent the spread of COVID-19”.
While appreciating government and government agencies such as FERMA and Federal Ministry of Works as well as sister agencies, the Police for responding to their recommendations, called on medical personnel to always act fast in responding to accident victims in order to save lives of the people, “I sincerely appreciate the cooperation of government and government agencies since I assumed work here in Akwa Ibom State. I hope that during this period and the years to come, we will receive greater cooperation…other stakeholders are the medical personnel to ensure that whenever we have emergency, they see to it that hospitals are opened and doctors are there to attend to casualty that are recovered from the highways. From records, we discover that greater numbers of casualties are those that are not attended to after a crash”.
He called on drivers to avoid over speeding, other road users to take responsibility of their safety at all times, be conscious of road signs and safety regulations as yuletide season is not a death trap for anybody, “people should take responsibility of their safety. If you see a driver that is drunk, over speeding, don’t keep quiet and pray only, you must realize that you have a role to play by reporting such case to any of the Police or FRSC patrol point and they will take necessary measures to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely. This season is generally referred to as EMBER Months and is usually characterized by road crashes and people believe that these months are associated with diabolical issues. We need to disabuse the minds of Nigerians, particularly road users the last four months of the year are like any other months. Why we have challenges as far as road transportation is concerned is the fact that these months are characterized by more activities, festivities and movement of people from one point to the other and this implies increase in vehicular movement. This happens because people are impatience, motorists want to maximize profit. There will be comprehensive enforcement of all traffic rules to ensure the roads are kept safe”.