Sultan Frowns At Drivers Impunity

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Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar

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Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, blames impunity as major causes of crashes on Nigerian highways and appeals to tanker drivers to be more considerate

MUHAMMED Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, has expressed concern over the impunity on the Nigerian highways. Abubakar said impunity had been responsible for the chaos on the highways, as drivers showed lack of consideration to other road users.

Speaking while receiving Boboye Oyeyemi, corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and Salimon Oladiti, national chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, division of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural GAS Workers, NUPENG, in his palace in Sokoto, the Sultan described rampart cases of petroleum tanker crashes in the country, especially in the last few weeks as “worrisome.” He, therefore, admonished drivers to always obey traffic rules and regulations, instead of operating with impunity.

He further stated that for stability to rein in any society, the people must be prepared to obey law, adding that no one should operate as if above the law of the land. “No one should be above the law,” he said.

“People must learn to respect law, and violators must be punished accordingly. That is the only way to ensure stability on the road and security in the society generally,” the royal father said further.

The Sultan commended the collaboration between the FRSC and PTD as well as other transport unions, saying it was a positive development, which could enhance effective traffic management and orderliness on the road.

He, however, expressed disappointment at the practice of blocking the road by some tanker drivers who engaged in the event of the slightest provocation, noting that every grievance could be settled amicably, if there was trust and understanding between the law enforcement agents and the drivers.

“When there is trust and understanding between the law enforcers and drivers, orderliness can easily be restored on the road. That is why I support this collaboration between the FRSC and PTD. The partnership provides opportunity for interaction and mutual resolution of conflicts for safety, security and stability of the society,” he further stated.

Earlier, Oyeyemi briefed the Sultan on the traffic situations in the country, particularly the perennial crashes involving petroleum tankers, in which about 60 persons were killed in the last two weeks. He said that the FRSC was conscious of the challenging nature of the year, and, therefore, embarked on early consultative meetings with relevant stakeholders on how to make the year crash-free right from the beginning of the year. He further disclosed that the consultations were on when the first crash occurred in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Following the incidents at Idimu and Iyana Ipaja in Lagos State, the corps marshal said he had to organise a national summit on haulage operations where a plan of action was drawn by the stakeholders for implementation.

“At the summit, all the relevant stakeholders were in attendance, and the representative of the Governor of Lagos state was equally present, because we consider Lagos as a strategic partner in the campaign, being the host to most of the petroleum tank farms in the country.

“Members of the executive of PTD are having their National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting here in Sokoto, and due to the importance we attach to their role in the campaign; I have to travel down to participate in the programme. That is why I am here with the National Chairman,” Oyeyemi said.

In his own remarks, Oladiti thanked the Sultan for the audience given to them, stating that it was a demonstration of the love he has for the people and road users in particular. He said new awakening in the membership of the union, coupled with the ongoing collaboration with the FRSC and other security agencies, tanker crashes in the country would soon be a thing of the past.

— Jun 22, 2015 @ 13:40 GMT

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