From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said it recorded a total of 632 road crashes with 180 fatalities in a month, while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it separately recorded 53 road emergencies with 12 fatalities, bringing the total number to 684 crashes with 192 fatalities.
FRSC Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi stated this on Monday in Abuja during the opening ceremony of “After Action Review” to appraise recent “Operation Eagle Eye” in collaboration with NEMA.
Represented by a Deputy Corps Marshall Hyginus Omeje, he said: ‘We started looking at the causes. It has to do with the loading pattern and some of the articulated shock.
‘All together we had 632 crashes. 180 out of the number were fatal that is somebody died. 362 were very serious and 100 were minor. In all this, we lost about 585 lives. It is much. It points to the fact of the loading pattern of some of these truck drivers in which people will hang on top of the truck and in the event of the crash the vehicles empty them as if they are a vehicle is sand or granite.’
NEMA Director-General AVM Mohammadu Muhammed (retd) said Operation Eagle Eye is a global initiative and a flagship product of the Agency targeted at enlightening road users on the rules and regulations guiding road usage.
Represented by the Director of Search and Rescue, Edward Adedokun, he said: ‘The 2020 campaign provided a platform for awareness creation, sensitization of road users and effective response to road emergencies.
‘NEMA deployed 48 specialized vehicles including the Mobile Intensive Care Ambulances, 431 personnel and volunteers for the operation nation-wide.
‘The Agency in collaboration with stakeholders responded to 53 road emergencies across the Zonal Territorial and Operation Offices (ZTOs) covering 84 routes.
‘Unfortunately, 12 fatalities and 88 injuries were recorded by the Agency on these routes. These unfortunate incidents on our roads once again bring to the fore the need for road users to be careful at all times and adhere to all safety measures,’ he said.
According to him, NEMA, in line with its mandate ‘is committed to building capacities of stakeholders in disaster management and fostering synergy to ensure that emergencies are handled in line with international best practices with a view to placing the country on an enviable height in Emergency Management/Disaster Risk Reduction.’
However, Professor Andrew Obafemi, in his paper presentation titled, “Challenges of Collaboration in Major Disaster Management”, noted that the successes recorded in the 2020 exercise should be used as a template to plan for subsequent exercises.
Prof Obafemi added that understanding, trust, equal and unsuspicious access to funds, as well as reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks should be used upheld, adding that without the aforementioned, the mandate of NEMA would be defeated.