By Oki Samson

At the Oshodi Transport Interchange Terminal 2, the personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Lagos Sector Command led by the Sector Commander, CC Babatunde Farinloye in collaboration with Guinness Nigeria Plc flagged off their Ember month road safety advocacy campaign across Lagos, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.

The FRSC advocacy campaign which holds yearly, NAOSNP can report, aims to educate and enlighten motorists and other road users during the four months of September, October, November, and December. The last 4 months of the year have been verified to be the busiest months on Nigerian roads.

The year 2023 edition of the Ember Months campaign rally with the theme “Speed Thrills but Kills” held on Thursday 19th October, 2023. A large number of personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Zonal Commander; CC Babatunde Farinloye; Lagos Sector Command include the DCC Operations and Chairman of Ember Months Committee, Lucas Oguntade; DCC Cyril Zango Matthew; Assistant Corp Commander Esther Uzoma of Lagos Island Unit Command; the Public Education Officer, Supt. Route Commander Olabisi Sonusi; GI Igbokwe; and several other officers were present at the advocacy campaign and road show.

The campaign flagoff and road show had in attendance the Nigerian Army 9 Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen AM Adetuyi who was represented by the Lt. Col. Isah Galadima; Managing Director/CEO of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. John Musunga; Corporate Relations Director & Company Secretary, Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Odusola; the Managing Director of Surveillance Fire Ltd., Engr. Jumade Adejola; NYSC Lagos State Coordinator, Mrs. Yetunde Baderinwa ably represented and NDLEA Lagos State Commander represented by ACN Mallam Musa Abdullahi.

Others are the Executive Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo LCDA, Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof represented by Hon. Oluwatobi Salako; the Chairman of NURTW Lagos, Alhaji (Dr) Musiliudeen Ayinde Akinsanya MC Oluomo represented by Alhaji Razak Olushola Ahmed Alubarika (aka Decency); the State Coordinator of NOA, Segun Akintan; as well as the representative of Leadway Assurance, the representative of NEMA Lagos, Mrs. Ibitayo Adenike; Mabel Musa; and Mrs. Viola Douglas.

In his address at the event titled ‘Speed Thrills but Kills: Drive responsibly and Avoid Overloading’, the FRSC Lagos Sector Commander, CC Babatunde Farinloye revealed: ‘The Ember Months Campaign represents an integral component of FRSC’s strategic interventions towards elevating the consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road traffic crashes and its’ mind-boggling implications on our lives, societies and planet. Annually, over 1.3million people die on world roads with about 50million others sustaining various degree of injuries. Developing nations (including Nigeria) account for about 91 percent of world road fatalities with nations losing 3-5% of their annual GDP.’

Farinloye added: ‘For us at FRSC Lagos State Sector Command, we shall be deploying the full capacity of the command for a multi-dimensional intervention in the forms of enforcement operation, traffic control, public enlightenment and education, point-of-load education and surveillance, strategic advocacy and help-area for emergency response during this festive season. In the most aggressive and efficient way, we shall prosecute our programs around the identified leading crash causatives factors.’

‘Our vision for 2023 Operation Zero remains Zero Fatality. We therefore call every stakeholder and indeed road user to support the Corps in this arduous task through exemplary conducts on the road and the propagation of the message of safety across our various constituencies. We all have a role to play as captains of industry, heads of institution and family. We particularly charge the road transport service providers to the responsibility of self-regulations to limit incidents of aborted trips due to infractions and arrests. Nigerians deserve road transportation that is efficient, equitable and safe. This we must all strive to deliver to our people and our nation’, NAOSNP gathered.

The no. 1 Lagos road safety officer, Farinloye also used the opportunity to thank the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. ‘I would like to once again appreciate Mr. Governor and Government of Lagos State for the massive transport infrastructural renewal in the State which has continued to improve efficiency and safety of the transportation system.’

In his brief remarks at the event, the MD/CEO of Guinness Nigeria, John Musunga expressed: ‘This is the program of the FRSC to create awareness about the dangers on the road during the ember months. It is to reduce number of accidents in this period. The lessons learned in this period should enable us to bring sanity on our various roads.’

He expressed delight at the flag off saying the annual Ember Months campaign started about 19 years ago and Guinness Nigeria has been supporting the campaign since inception.

“We are here annually to support and promote this campaign like we are doing today. The only period we were unable join hands was for a period of two years when Covid-19 Pandemic was recorded.
We started the collaboration since 2004 the year the United Nations declared the Year of International Road Safety and here in Nigeria, we had our International Year of Road Safety events. Across the country in partnership which has continued to be strengthened annually.

On his part, the representative of 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. Isah Galadima shared: ‘I want to assure you that the 9 Bridage Nigerian Army is poised to give all necessary support to your Command in the performance of its duties, as part of our constitutional role of providing military assistance to civil authorities. To this end, the Brigade will continue to collaborate with the FRSC and other agencies to ensure a safe and secured environment for law-abiding citizens during the coming period of festivities and beyond.’

‘I congratulate the Sector Commander and other personnel of FRSC Lagos Sector Command on this occasion and further commend the personnel for the sacrifice made in the past and many more as we approach the prime season of road travels in Nigeria’, Galadima concluded.

The Executive Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo LCDA, Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof represented by Hon. Oluwatobi Salako remarked: ‘Let us avoid drink driving. When you take alcohol within the first five minutes, it will affect the brain. Let’s not over-speed. If you are going on 80km/h and something happens, you can still be able to control yourself but when it is over, there can be a problem.’

The Managing Director of Surveillance Fire Ltd., Engr. Jumade Adejola added: ‘What makes the ember month different from other months is because everyone wants to celebrate Christmas in their hometown. But I am here to tell you that many of the fire extinguishers we buy don’t work because they are fake. Please I beg us to buy certified fire extinguishers. I don’t understand why we can afford to buy vehicles worth millions but not afford fire extinguishers worth thousands of naira. That does not show that we care about our safety. We need fire extinguishers in our homes, offices, cars, etc.’

The NURTW Lagos Chairman, Alhaji Musiliudeen Ayinde Akinsanya MC Oluomo represented by Alh. Olusola Ahmed said: ‘This rally is organized yearly at the instance of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to create awareness about the dangers of excessive speed on the road, particularly during the Ember Months (September, October, November, and December). The goal is to promote responsible driving behaviors and reduce the number of accidents during this period.’

MC Oluomo advised motorists not to drink alcohol and drive, shun use of narcotic drug and other forms of negative intake, drive responsibly and avoid overloading. ‘Let us however remember that road safety is a collective responsibility, and it’s essential for everyone to play their part in ensuring safer roads for all. We give kudos to our leaders for this brilliant initiative believing that the lessons learned will be put to proper use to ensure sanity on our various roads.’

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