In the last three weeks four oil tankers have been involved in accidents by either parking wrongly thereby falling on other vehicles or as a result of reckless driving by the tanker drivers who run into them thereby causing untold havoc on both road users and the public at large. The fire outbreaks as a result of these accidents which have sent many to their untimely graves is now giving Nigerians concern as the sights of people being burnt and most times roasted beyond recognition is becoming too often to behold in a civilized society like Nigeria.
Indeed the men of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) and their counterparts in at the state level like Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and of course the various emergency management agencies from the Federal level to the local councils have been up and doing in trying to put an end to this menace but perhaps their efforts are limited by some salient factors ranging from availability of equipments like fire fighting vehicles among others to mobilizing personnel to the accident scenes.
For instance when the tanker carrying fuel which killed four recently in Lagos fell on the highway, it took about three hours for the relevant agencies and personnel to storm the scene and contain the fire. Relevant Agencies must be pro-active in ensuring that these deaths caused by the oil tankers are reduced if not out rightly whipped out. In the light of this spontaneous reaction is required to move men and equipments to the scene of accident to avert further danger.
It is therefore up to government at all levels to upwardly review the workings of the relevant agencies and mobilize them better for effective operation. It is sad to see Nigerians die over avoidable problems and disasters often caused by carelessness. This leads to the issue of controlling the movements of these oil tankers and even trailers carrying containers on our roads.
Perhaps a bill should be passed stating at what time of the day these tankers and trailers should ply the major roads. Again it is necessary that government especially at the state level should work closer with the companies that own the tankers and trailers to provide parking spaces rather than allow them to park along major roads thereby constituting danger to the public.
The long queues of oil tankers between Westminster bus-stop and Tin Can Island bus-stop along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway for long has been a subject of huge debate even as Lagos State government has severally taken drastic measures to stop the menace which creates traffic and untold hardship on the citizens yet the trouble persists. At some point the oil tankers were taken away from the road but they seem to be back and it is just a matter of time for another disaster to be witnessed.
Government cannot fold its hands as the oil tankers continue to kill innocent Nigerians who are moving about seeking legitimate means of livelihood. As it concerns the recklessness of most of the drivers of oil tankers and trailers, the FRSC and other relevant agencies must keep close watch on them with a view to arrest offenders and prosecute them adequately. FRSC and relevant agencies cannot compromise the function of keeping our roads safe.
Maj. Shofolahan Spoke My Mind
Permit me to support the views expressed by one Major Ibrahim Shofolahan which was on the cover of your publication last weekend. The story was on the immorality going on all in the name of Christmas Carnival in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State. I live in Calabar and each Christmas we are made to witness the wasteful attitude of the state government which takes delight in inviting all manners of musicians, comedians, actors and actresses and even jobless persons, paying them heavily from our collective fund just for a jamboree.
Come to the nooks and crannies of the state and you see unemployed youths, widows and orphans seeking help just to make a living yet our government takes leisure in spending to those who already have. I have it on good record that the least fee paid to any of the invited guests is enough to take care of the needs of 50 widows in the state. The people are tired of this waste and I am glad someone like Major Shofolahan was able to speak out against this ill. The state government makes the rest of us look like we are in support of the mess. But it is a lie. We are not. Cross River state is not the richest among the 36 states of the federation so why is it that the state will always annually engage in this economic waste? Enough is enough! We can no longer keep quiet and allow our resources to be wasted all in the name of carnival. Government officials who cease the opportunity provided annually by this carnival to siphon money from our treasury will soon cough our billions out because we know them and their tricks. We are waiting for them at the 2015 polls.
-Udeme Okon Udeme, Calabar, Cross River State.