Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Friday declared that his government is soon beginning to arrest and prosecute alcoholic dealers and consumers of illicit drugs in all its motor parks across the state.
The Governor made this known while declaring open a one-day seminar on road safety during the festive season, tagged -“Safer Roads, Safer Season in Ogun State”, organised by the State Interim Committee on Transportation in conjunction with Tunes Communications Limited held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital said the transport committee would put necessary measures in place to curb sales of alcohol in all the motor parks across the state, attributing its consumption by drivers to one of the factors responsible for accidents on the highways.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele said that drivers should have self-control, noting that even if the system officially banned sales of alcohol at motor parks, self-policing is required, such that even if anyone is given for free, he should be able to reject it.
On his part, the Chairman, Ogun State Interim Committee on Transportation, Barrister Sunday Adeniyi while speaking in line with “don’t drink and drive” campaign safety slogan of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the Dapo Abiodun’s administration is working towards collaborating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for possible arrest and prosecution of alcoholic dealers at Ogun motor parks.
He said, alcoholic consumption by commercial drivers was responsible for the majority of the road crashes witnessed over the years, stressing that the state will do everything possible to eradicate alcoholic consumption by drivers. In his presentation at the seminar, the State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Clement Oladele said no fewer than 338 persons had lost their lives in road crashes recorded in Ogun highway corridors between January and 20th December, this year.
The FRSC boss explained that 50 per cent of the death occurred at diversion points of which trucks and other articulated vehicles were responsible for about 80 per cent of the total road crashes recorded so far in the Ogun corridors. While attributing causes of the crashes to over-speeding, wrongful overtaken around construction zones as well as brake failure among others, Oladele said FRSC is prepared to prosecute truck owners found culpable of causing road crashes and ensure that compensations are paid to accident victims or their relatives.
Speaking on the recent tanker fire disaster in Sango – Ota Toll Gate, Oladele explained that FRSC was already compiling lists of the accident victims for possible prosecution of the company whose truck was responsible for the crash and get the victims compensated.
“We know that some of these trucks are over-aged and not well maintained and also overloaded. We will prosecute culprits and make sure that there is compensation for victims”. “For the victims, who may have small children, we will make the companies pay compensation to the extent that they give their children scholarships till they finish their university education and also employ them”.
“We are praying the court to also make FRSC one of the security agencies that will enforce it and it is not the family members of the accident victims that will be looking for these companies”. In his own goodwill, the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson urged motorists to be vigilant against kidnappers who may dress in police uniform and pretend to be security agents on the highways, emphasizing that not all uniformed men seen on the roads during the festive season are genuine security agents.
Ebrimson, who was represented by the Area Commander in charge of Adatan, ACP Idashaba Friday also cautioned motorists against over gauging their vehicle tyres to avoid tyre burst while traveling.