No matter how one may look at it, in all ramifications, death is too painful, notwithstanding the cause of it, however, to die by road accident, which probably, is avoidable, if proper measures are taken by the necessary authorities, can be said to be more devastating to the loved ones.
Such sudden death is capable of disposing the family members, friends and those who care, and as well put them into emotional agony.
When American President, Barack Obama was delivering a speech to “Young African Leaders” recently, he took his time to elaborate the importance of education, and its consequences to any country that doesn't take education very important.
Mr Obama made it clear that any country that doesn't take education seriously is not only denying herself opportunities to compete in this globally advanced world, but the future of that country is palpably seemed doomed.
In Nigeria today, various agencies responsible for either to educate, or train Nigerian citizens to acquire certain skills have failed Nigerians.
Consequently, Nigerians at the moment are individually setting standards for themselves in numerous forms that suit them, which in another development, seriously affecting the whole nation negatively.
Nigerians are losing their lives daily on road accidents and the deplorable conditions of Nigerian roads are one of the major contributing factors in causing these accidents, however, have we thought about the drivers and users of these roads, whether they are properly trained, before obtaining a “Driving Licence” that authorizes them to drive on Nigerian roads.
What are the duties of the people that issue this licence, if not to train and equip before issuing the licence?
In this regard, the government has failed again.
It is the responsibility of every government to ensure that life of the road users are safe, by the way of ensuring good and marked roads, maintaining traffic signs and highway codes, providing pedestrian path and all the necessary indicators to maintain safety on the roads.
Though, the government has failed on this part, then, one begins to wonder, on what basis they should ask its citizens to take a “Driving Test”, before obtaining a “Driving Licence” to drive safely on roads.
This is not possible!
And this is the reason why “Driving Licence” in Nigeria is a matter of
“If you can pay for it, then you can have it”.
It is never a matter of passing the necessary tests to qualify for having it.
A fourteen, fifteen, or sixteen year old child can have a driving licence in Nigeria, as long as he or she can afford it.
And its consequences are, in most cases, they are being carried away from the fact that they are driving, and on the process of showcasing themselves on the wheels, they thereby causing unnecessary deaths on the roads.
A drunken person can drive without any fear of going to jail if hurt or killed somebody, after all, who taught him he was putting his life and life of others at risk, who taught him the implications of his actions, he will even tell you that, such mood will give him a clear eyes and mind to drive clearly, whereby causing unnecessary accidents on the roads.
In Nigeria, government cares for the money the individual will pay to obtain the driving licence than the safety of the person on the wheel.
Driving needs a lot of calculations to enable the driver to identify hazards, and have articulated rapid response to sudden situation and to overcome it.
These things need to be taught to any individuals who wish to have driving licence, but, is Nigerian government doing it? No!
As a Nigerian, I am aware that one of the problems Nigerian drivers has is “Impatience” and “Patience” is one of the commonest things a driver should posses.
Impatience causes traffic jam.
Impatience will cause accident.
Impatience will cause fight.
Impatience will prompt one to attack verbally.
Impatience will cause delays and etc.
Most Nigerian drivers lack “Patience” and this should be a thing to be shared among drivers to have free flow traffic, but we are lacking in this direction.
Having said this, I will request the government to take up their responsibility to ensure that Nigerian drivers are given adequate training, and also ensure that “Driving Licence” is issued to qualified individuals who have undergone certain necessary tests to maintain safety on Nigerian roads.
Government should provide centers for this training, or allow certain registered bodies to be in charge of this training, why the final tests will be conducted by government body.
These will assist in educating and equipping “About to be drivers” the necessary skills needed.
Government should also show less interest in the money trainees will pay, but should be more concerned on the safety of the person on the wheel and safety of others who are using the roads.
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the government to provide good roads, get the roads marked, provide traffic signs and highway codes, and put necessary indicators to maintain safety on the roads.
Where these modalities are not available; it will be a huge setback in any attempt to maintain safety on Nigerian roads.
Nigerians have died hugely as a result of government irresponsibility.
This has to stop!
This article is a follow-up of "NANS Coordinator South-South and South-East, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, who lamented that "Students have become prone to accidents on the highways".
And this was stated in response to the recent ASUU strike on sunnews.
He said, " His words: “I stand to tell you that a lot of accidents have been recorded and 99.9% of the victims are Nigerian students. If they were in classrooms, they would not have fallen victims of road crashes".