Why accidents on Nigerian roads should not coincidental

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The current dying of former Nigerian footballer, Ibrahim Babangida, in a automotive crash raised a query most Nigerians don’t hassle to ask.  Why do many Nigerian celebrities die in automotive accidents in Nigeria?

Why did Cardinal Rex Lawson die in an auto crash on Asaba–Benin Road whereas on his approach to Warri for a efficiency? Why did Celestine Ukwu die in a automotive crash in Nigeria? Reports have it that he and his buddy who purchased a brand new automotive have been out within the automotive when a truck hit them in Ogidi, Anambra State, and so they each died on the spot. Why was Nico Mbarga knocked right down to his dying whereas he was on a motorcycle in Calabar to purchase petrol for his automotive?

If these celebrities died within the Nineteen Seventies, 80s and 90s – which appeared far – there are different celebrities who died in auto crashes extra just lately like musician, Dagrin; actor, JT Tom West; musician, MC Loph; comic, CD John; actor, Ahmed Ishola Durojaiye, popularly generally known as Alasari; Big Brother housemate, Patrick Fakoy, popularly generally known as Rico Swavey.

In politics and different areas, one can keep in mind Adegoke Adelabu who died in a automotive crash in 1958 – two years earlier than Nigeria’s independence – within the Remo space on the outdated Lagos-Ibadan Road on the younger age of 42. From January 1955 to January 1956, Adelabu was Nigeria’s Minister of Natural Resources and Social Services. He then grew to become the opposition chief within the Western Regional Assembly till his dying.

In 2016 the Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi (SAN), his spouse and their son died in an auto crash on the Abuja-Kaduna freeway. Ocholi was a serving minister when the accident occurred.

In 2005, human rights activist, Chima Ubani, and Vanguard newspaper photographer, Tunji Oyeleru, died in a deadly motor accident on the Potiskum-Bauchi Road. They and others have been using within the official automobile of the then President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, en path to Abuja to attach a flight to Lagos after an anti-fuel value hike rally in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Some individuals have been fortunate to have survived auto accidents however have been completely injured. For instance, in 1990 well-known novelist Chinua Achebe received paralysed in a automotive crash whereas travelling from the South-East to Lagos. In 1997, auto misfortune befell gospel artiste, Yinka Ayefele, as he was paralysed after a street accident.

Some individuals could assume that these accidents have been simply coincidental, arguing that street accidents happen in each nation of the world. But that won’t be the entire story. Driving in Nigeria is among the many most harmful on this planet. But you could by no means realise this until you drive in different elements of the world the place driving is finished in response to some guidelines and there’s strict enforcement of such guidelines.

Put bluntly, Nigerians know easy methods to transfer the automobile round however merely don’t know easy methods to drive. It will not be as a result of the talents are too laborious for Nigerians to study. It is simply that the foundations of driving should not enforced. In truth, most Nigerians who’ve pushed for over 20 years don’t know the essential guidelines of driving in addition to primary street indicators. On most Nigerian roads, there should not even indicators. The roads should not marked. Even when the roads are marked, many don’t know what they imply. Many even assume the street marks are for beautification.

In many Western cities – particularly outdated cities with slender roads – city roads are normally single carriageways. But on the center of such single roads, there’s normally an unbroken yellow line or double yellow traces operating straight, separating the 2 sides of the street. You won’t ever see any driver cross that line to the opposite aspect of the street in a bid to overhaul one other automobile. Speed restrict is normally 50 km/h or much less on such inside metropolis roads, relying on the atmosphere. In faculty areas, the velocity restrict even drops to 30 km/h.

To get your driving licence in international locations that take these points critically, you’ll undergo a written examination and driving check. If you fail, you pay once more and repeat the check. You proceed till you cross the check otherwise you overlook about it and by no means drive. And that’s the reason most individuals rejoice once they get their driving licence. Many Nigerians who’ve pushed for many years fail such exams once they go overseas.

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Drivers are additionally randomly stopped and examined to verify that they aren’t driving below the affect of any substance. One doesn’t even must be tipsy to fail the check. There is a stage of alcohol that doesn’t must be within the system of anyone who’s driving. Once you cross that threshold, you get a ticket. You even have to realize a sure age to be allowed to drive, regardless of how tall or huge you might be. Also, pedestrians and animals crossing the street are extremely revered by motorists. Drivers cease and wait till they’ve totally crossed the street.

This doesn’t occur in Nigeria. If there isn’t a concrete, raised median operating throughout the centre of a street, drivers will simply cross to the opposite aspect each time they like. If the median will not be excessive sufficient, some motorists will climb over it at will. If a median is simply too excessive, some individuals could use some instruments to chop by way of it to create a method for motorists or pedestrians to cross by way of. One can drink as a lot as one needs and inhale any substance as a lot as attainable and nonetheless select to drive off as a result of one could by no means be penalised.

One of the scariest roads to journey on in Nigeria is a single-carriage freeway. With every kind of autos driving going through one another and overtaking at will, you’ll at all times have your coronary heart in your mouth. The proven fact that velocity limits are additionally not noticed, besides when there are street security officers in sight, doesn’t assist issues. Also, drivers don’t respect proper of method. Most individuals don’t even know what proper of method means.

Even the place there are visitors lights, many don’t respect them. As lengthy as there are not any legislation enforcement officers round, some individuals would beat the crimson gentle. But beating the crimson gentle is a severe offence in developed international locations, together with many creating international locations of Africa, besides Nigeria. If you beat the visitors gentle, you’ll get a high-quality and likewise get some unfavorable factors in your account, which can have an effect on the amount of cash you pay for insurance coverage.

If you’ve repeat visitors offences, you could lose your licence for some time. I’ve by no means heard of individuals shedding their driving licence in Nigeria due to visitors offences.

In January, the BBC reported that for the second consecutive yr, London has been named the world’s slowest metropolis for drivers, in response to a examine. Other cities within the prime 5 are Dublin, Toronto, Milan and Lima. The evaluation featured 387 cities in 55 international locations.

According to the BBC, “Journeys of 10km (6.2 miles) in central London took an average of 37 minutes and 20 seconds last year, according to location technology company TomTom.” It famous that analysts believed that the rationale was “because of widespread 20mph (32km/h) speed limits”.

It will not be as a result of London enjoys sluggish driving and doesn’t know that point is cash. But it slows down the velocity of drivers to cut back the opportunity of accidents. The motive there’s a excessive charge of deadly crashes in Nigeria is as a result of there’s close to lawlessness in that space.

Any time somebody drives out in Nigeria and returns safely, there must be a celebration or a thanksgiving over that. We as Nigerians can not proceed to drive in a disorderly method and count on to not proceed to lose a few of our stars, family and friends members. There are visitors legal guidelines in Nigeria. The downside is that they aren’t enforced. The authorities must take a particular curiosity in visitors laws and be sure that they’re enforced. Traffic legal guidelines work in lots of international locations. Even youngsters really feel secure to experience bicycles by the roadside in such international locations. It shouldn’t be laborious to copy that right here and save lives.

–X: @ModelAzuka



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