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Accidents on Our Roads!, By Abdulwaheed Badmus

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Accidents on Our Roads!, By Abdulwaheed Badmus

NEWISSUES, Abuja

Dr. Wale Omole, a dentist is the author of the book, Accidents on our Roads. He is also the proprietor of Tai Solarin Memorial Hospital. He taught me Biology and taught my set Organic Chemistry in secondary school as a volunteer and on part-time. He was an undergraduate student Dental Surgery of Unilag then.

Accident on Our Roads, was authored because of his travelling experience on Nigerias roads, victims of roads accidents he had probably witnessed as a medical students in LUTH. He wrote this book when he was an undergraduate. He published it in 1986 after his NYSC in Kano or so.

His motive was his concern for lost of lives on our roads, safety of life and all other consequences of road accidents, how to prevent roads accidents and the likely causes of it.

30 years after Wale Omole’s book, any improvement on roads accidents reports cases or similar frequent causes of accidents on our roads! Just yesterday, 6th March, 2016, we lost Chief James Ocholli, who was also a SAN, his wife and his son. Last year too, a friend Prof. AbdulHakeem Mobolaji and his son also died in motor accident. Just like James. He died with his son. Who next? God forbid is our chorus response. My answer is, it can be anybody but I pray for God’s protection on all my reades who belief in God and prayer like me.

How many unknown and public figures we have lost on our roads are countless.

One of the first thing Gov. Adewolu Rasheed Ladoja did in 2003 when he became Governor of Oyo state was to tackle accident problems at Ojoo end of Iwo Rd – Ojoo express Road that leads to Oyo. We were all relieved, his effort also solved traffic problems in that area, prior to the completion of new Oyo Road express Road that links Iwo Rd to Lagos Ibadan express Road.

If state or local governments and immediate communities in some cases take some temporary measures to prevent Road accidents risk when noticed probably some accidents will be prevented and precious lives will be saved too.

Most of our roads are death traps due our poor maitainance culture, heartless act of corruption and deliberate road maitainance shoddy jobs.

What could have caused the accident that killed a SAN or our Minister? Bursted tyre, same like that that killed IBB 007 or AKA 007 (ADISA), the wife of Brigadier Raji Rasaki along Lagos -Ibadan expressway and many unknown souls!

How often do tyre busrt in UK and killed bread winners and their precious son at ago? Why does it seldom happens in Nigeria other places, where Gurumaraji devotees are at sights because often rumoursely claimed that Gurumaraji’s devotees are responsible for all the road accidents on Lagos – Ibadan express roads?

They have tough laws on road worthiness of vehicles (MOT) and Consumer protection Act, that takes care of counterfeit products coming and leaving UK. How dedicated, committed and motivated is the Standard Organisation of Nigeria?

There are many causes of road accidents such as voluntary and involuntary activities of drivers, bad roads, poor state of the vehicle, mechanical faults, delibrate used of sub-standard spare parts or matarials and unethical activities of artisans, illegal road blocks by police, activities of other road uses, in adequate monitoring drivings and other numerous activities. All these causes are within control and can be prevented.

The death of the Chief James Ochilli was probably caused or triggered by the bursting of the tyre of his vehicle. From past history, Nigeria do not learn from the past to prevent future further occurance of the unfortunate situations in which James Ocholi lost his life. We are only good at mourning, buring the dead and continue from where they stopped. In the case of James, only God knows number of people in Kogi state jostling to replace him. That is normal of course!

Whereas, in sane world or other countries such unfortunate events, will make their technocracts, road safety commission, police, insurance experts and other stake holders to embark on meaningful investigation to unravel the causes of every or any accidents and recommend approprate precautions to prevent future occurences.

By now, Nigerians should be thinking of what could have led to the burst of the tyre? Was the tyre too old, substandard or was the vehicle overloaded? What is the brand of the tyre? Who manufactured, import and market the tyres? How often do the brand of the tyres burst when driven? Instead we are busy with conspiracy theories. We do not ask ourselves if those who died or survived used seat belts or not? If they used seat belts why were they thrown out of the car? Any lesson in using seat belts or not, ditto risk of using and selling sub-standard tyres are not emphasied but rather we would want to shift blame to the driver or his political detractors.

Abdulwaheed Badmus, Edinburgh, UK.

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