Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar111 has charged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to sustain its current campaigns against road carnage in the country, stressing that road safety is a collective responsibility.
The Sultan gave the charge over the weekend while receiving the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi in his Palace. According to him, part of the challenges facing the campaigns against road carnage in the country, is how to mete out appropriate punishment to those that violate traffic rules, pointing out that this has created room for people to commit traffic offences without suffering appropriate punishment.
Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar further emphasised that no society can function properly without the people obeying law, adding however that for people to obey the law, there must be appropriate sanctions to be strictly imposed on the violators to serve as deterrence to others. “We must obey all our laws, including the traffic laws,” he stated.
“Offenders of traffic offences must be apprehended, tried and punished. Nobody should be above the law of the land,” he added.
On the use of crash helmet by motorcycle riders and passengers, the Sultan reiterated his earlier admonitions that motorcyclists must be made to appreciate the safety benefits of using crash helmet while ridding, to protect them against head injuries in the event of a crash. He dismissed the cultural augment held by some people that the prevalent use of turban in the North is a hindrance to use of crash helmet, insisting that life is too precious to be taken for granted.
He therefore called for more aggressive public enlightenment through the community leaders to create adequate awareness on the safety benefits of the crash helmet to both the rider and the passenger to avoid death and injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. “There should be away of properly educating members of the communities of the benefits of using crash helmet through their leaders,” he stated.
“The problem with our society is that people don’t want to obey law, but it is our duty to obey the laws. Even if it means creating special mobile courts to try traffic offenders, you should do it, because precious lives are being unnecessarily wasted to road crashes,” he further stated.
Speaking on the menace of speed-induced crashes, Sultan Sa’ad warned motorists to desist from speed violation, pointing out that every driver must learn to adhere strictly to the speed limit regulations. He assured that his own convoy will continue to move within the stipulated speed limits to serve as an example to others, adding that he would use his authority as an honourary member of the special marshal to enforce the speed limits of vehicles coming behind him.
The Sultan also advocated the introduction of road safety education in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in the spirit of “catching them young.” This, he said would make it possible for the young ones to imbibe road safety education from their youthful ages and grow up with that consciousness.
He stressed the importance of continuous training of the drivers to update their knowledge of the highway codes and other modern techniques of driving, promising that he would continue to add his voice to road safety campaigns. “We must all work together to get a country where people respect human lives,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi stated that he was in Sokoto as part of his ongoing nationwide campaign for safer road environment in the country. He pointed out that he was particularly in the Palace to solicit the support of the Sultan in the efforts to get members of the public to understand the importance of road safety.
While reviewing the operational activities of the FRSC in the last one year, Corps Marshal Oyeyemi disclosed that though the Corps has achieved drastic reductions in road crashes and casualty rates, as compared to successive years, stakeholders are being sensitised to join the Corps for greater success through collective efforts.
According to him, it was in demonstration of that spirit of partnership that the Sokoto State Government built and donated an office complex to the FRSC Command in the state, which was commissioned by the Governor.
The Corps Marshal was accompanied on the visit by some principal officers of the FRSC, including the Zonal Commanding Officer of Zone 10 Headquarters, Sokoto.
Among those that joined the Sultan in receiving the Corps Marshal were some members of the Sokoto Sultanate Council, including the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.