Communiqué Issued at the end of one-day stakeholders’ interactive Session on Advocacy Against Overload, over speed and general indiscipline on high and by ways in Nigeria – By Muryar Talaka
Communiqué Issued at the end of one-day stakeholders’ interactive Session on Advocacy Against Overload, over speed and general indiscipline on high and by ways in Nigeria held at the conference hall of Katsina vocational Training centre, Katsina on 25th March, 2017.
Muryar Talaka Awareness Initiative, Katsina state chapter has organized a one day interactive session on the advocacy against overload, over speed and general indiscipline on high and by ways. The meeting was attended by participants, representing Federal Road safety Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (N.D.L.E.A.), State Security Service (SSS), Office of the SGS Katsina state, NARTO, Tricycle Riders and Owners Association Katsina state, N.U.M.U., Coalition of Civil Society Organizations Katsina State and the media. There were 25 participants in attendance. Presentations focused on Overload, Over speed, Leadership factor and vehicle factor. After extensive and exhaustive deliberations on the aforementioned problems, the following observations and Recommendations were made:
· Over speed, overload and other traffic violations are characteristics of an undisciplined, rude, corrupt, arrogant, rural, backward, impatient, lawless and disorganized society.
· People have continued to engage in this psychiatric, mentally unbalanced habit as if we were in stone-age in spite of the nauseating implications.
· Corruption of the bad eggs amongst the law enforcement agencies is hindering the fight against the menace.
· Lack of Political Will on the part of leadership to exemplary lead the crusade against the chaos and disorder on our roads was noted as a cog in the wheel in any attempt to stop the rotten and shameful attitude.
· Passengers’ docility, stupidity, foolishness, ignorance and complicity contribute to the ongoing lawlessness on our roads.
· Environmental and mechanical factors that include potholes-ridden roads, animal crossing, expired bridges and culverts, ditches and rickety vehicles constitute a surmountable challenge to achieving a relatively safer roads typical of a first world nation.
· Complicity of road unions and drivers on various flimsy excuses has turned Nigeria into a jungle and harbinger of road accidents in the world.
· Influence of hard drugs on drivers is another identified cause of road accident in Nigeria.
· Katsina state government should adopt a policy that shall compel commercial drivers to load only in motor parks. Tougher sanctions should be used that would make carrying passengers outside motor parks unlikely. If Zamfara state could do it, then why not Katsina state?
· Katsina state government should close down all illegal motor parks across the state.
· Severe punishment should be meted out to any driver who overload his vehicle including putting passengers in boot or mixing animals and human being in one vehicle.
· Intensification on punishing corrupt law enforcement agents who collect bribe from traffic offenders should never be compromised.
· A psychiatric test should be conducted on commercial drivers. All prospective drivers must undergo a psychiatric test before a driving license should be issued to them.
· There should be constant operation by men of NDLEA to fish out drivers who drive under the influence of hard drugs.
· Government should use an iron hand against drivers who have no license or their license expired.
· No vehicle should be allowed to ply road unless it is road worthy. Any vehicle that is not road worthy should be confiscated by government.
· CSOs, Road unions, media and government should embark on massive sensitization of the society about all the nauseating implications of traffic violations.
All the participants of this meeting have agreed to work as partners towards campaign and advocacy against the stone-age practice of reckless driving and other forms of traffic violations rampant only in third world societies. The participants also have expressed appreciation to Muryar Talaka Awareness Initiative, Katsina state for organizing the meeting.
Office of –SGS
Coalition of CSOs Katsina state