As Nigerian Christians join their counterparts from across the world to celebrate this year’s Christmas under the threats of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has felicitated with them and enjoying everyone to duly observe the COVID-19 protocols against the dreaded disease in line with the directives of the Presidential Task Force (PTF). This was contained in his Christmas message in which the Corps Marshal reiterates his earlier calls for people to guide against unhealthy habits that could compromise the guidelines put in place by the National Centre for Disease Control to avert spread of the disease.
According to a press release issued by the FRSC spokesperson, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal in his message also expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for protecting Nigerians against various social and security challenges, saying the period of Christmas should be devoted to giving glory to God for His favours and asking Him for more, instead of laying emphasis on merriments alone. He urged people to pray fervently for God’s more grace to the country and protection for all Nigerians.
The FRSC boss particularly cautioned travelers against dangers that go with road travels at this periods of increased human and vehicular traffic, stressing that people must show extra vigilance while using the road to overcome the annual carnage. “Celebrate peacefully with your family at home if possible; but if you must travel to other places, then try as much as possible to observe all the COVID-19 protocols including frequent washing of hands, wearing of masks and keeping to social distancing,” the Corps Marshal said.
Oyeyemi further called on road users to support the ongoing road safety sensitisation programmes by the FRSC to address issues of poor attitude to road usage by people, saying such non committal attitude to road safety accounts for why the periods of Christmas and new year becoming the most challenging to the campaigns for safer road environments in the country. He further noted that while FRSC as part of its annual end of year special patrol has put adequate measures in place and mapped out strategies to address all the anticipated traffic challenges that could hinder free movement of people and vehicles, such measures would remain inadequate without cooperation from members of the public particularly, those that travel on the roads.
He therefore, warned people against some specific offences like route violation, overloading, speeding, light signs violation and driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs which have been identified as responsible for most crashes and deaths that occur during the yuletide seasons. “People must prove through their obedience to traffic rules and regulations that Christmas and new year can be celebrated without loss of lives, road obstruction and gridlocks that characterise the periods,” Oyeyemi stressed.
“All road travelers must observe these basic traffic rules to ensure the desired safety outcomes, not only during the Christmas and new year celebrations, but beyond the seasons,” he added.
The FRSC Corps Marshal also appealed to Nigerians to cooperate fully with the FRSC personnel and other security agencies as well as stakeholders in the civil societies who have voluntarily joined in keeping the roads safer in the spirits of road safety as a shared responsibility. “Adequate patrol and Rescue logistics as well as personnel have been deployed along all black spots and major highways across the country to ease movement of travelers and render prompt medical care in case of crashes related and other emergencies. All members of the public are accordingly enjoined to cooperate with the Corps to make the special exercise a huge success,” Corps Marshal Oyeyemi assures.
He further appealed to Nigerians to report any cases of obstruction, crashes and other emergencies to the FRSC toll free line: 122 or directly call to the studios of the FRSC National Traffic Radio-107.1fm through the numbers: 08052998090 or 09067000015 for prompt response to the distress calls on all parts of the roads across the country.
The Corps Marshal Marshal wishes all Nigerians happy Christmas and safe celebration.