The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to enforce the ban on the use of trucks and other vehicles meant for goods in conveying human beings in the state.
Governor Ortom made the appeal at the Federal Medical Centre, Apir when he visited victims of the accident involving members of NKST Church Achusa, in Makurdi, who were being conveyed in a truck to Anber, in Katsina-Ala for an annual function of the Church.
He also undertook to pay the medical bills of those affected.
According to him, the enforcement of the ban had become necessary as a result of frequent cases of accidents involving trucks or similar vehicles conveying worshippers to religious occasions in the state over the years.
Governor Ortom directed that anyone who violates the ban should be arrested and prosecuted.
He sympathised with victims of the accident, assuring them that God who is the greatest Healer would grant them speedy recovery from the various degrees of injuries they sustained.
“It is disheartening when you wake up to find your loved ones involved in avoidable accidents like this one. As a government, we will not fold our arms and watch our people suffer this terrible situation. Anyone caught transporting people using vehicles meant only for goods will be apprehended and prosecuted”, he said.
The Governor directed that the sum of N500,000 be deposited for the treatment of the accident victims.
The Chairman, NKST High Level Classis, Pastor Johanes Hough who spoke on behalf of the Church, thanked Governor Ortom for his prompt visit to the accident victims, describing the gesture as true humanitarian work.
An Assistant Director of Nursing at the Centre, Mr Moses Atime, who conducted Governor Ortom round, said 59 victims of the accident were taken to the hospital but those who had minor injuries had been discharged leaving behind 29 with serious cases.
Governor Ortom was accompanied by the Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner, Barrister Michael Gusa, the Chief of Staff, Hon. Terwase Orbunde, and his personal physician, Dr Gbar as well as other aides.
He visited the accident and emergency ward, the orthopaedics unit and the female surgical ward.