By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to curb the incessant deaths of Nigerian citizens from avoidable reckless driving, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria held a peaceful protest/ sensitization march yesterday at Ikeja, Lagos.
The group urged Lagos State Government and relevant security and transport agencies to intensify efforts to curb the recurring menace of falling trucks leading to death of Nigerians.
Leading the team, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke stated that most of the containers aren’t fastened to the trucks, hence, they pose serious danger to road users.
Her words: “This problem of truck accidents has become alarming and it continues to go on unabated. So, we felt it is our duty as women practitioners in the maritime sector to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to this menace.”
“Whatever legislative processes necessary should be developed and those agencies statutorily charged with this responsibility should step up with implementation to curb this menace on Nigerian roads”
The WISTA-Nigeria President also pointed out that intake of alcohol and drugs have also been responsible for the reckless driving of truck drivers.
Subsequently, she urged trucking companies to adequately train their drivers to drive safely and refrain from drugs and alcohol.
Also speaking during the rally, the Vice President of the association, Mrs. Anna Akpan suggested that trucks should be allotted specific time to operate, noting that truck operations between 7pm and 7am would minimize the risk of colliding with private and commercial vehicles.
She said: “As mothers we are worried because we lose our children, husbands and colleagues to frequent accidents resulting from reckless truck driving. We are out today to plead with the Lagos State Government, truck owners and their drivers, Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) and other stakeholders. All trucks heading to the ports or exiting the ports should be properly latched.”
Akpan, however, admonished the federal government and Lagos State government to speedily address the poor state of the roads, noting that they also contribute to truck accidents.
Some of the placards carried by the women read, ‘All container laden trucks must meet safety conditions to ply Nigerian roads’, ‘Killer drivers and their companies must face full wrath of the law’, ‘Defective trucks must stay off the roads’, ‘Old trucks are ticking time bombs’, ‘Nigerian laws and regulations must be enforced’, ‘Overhead bridges shouldn’t be truck parks or terminals’, among others.
The protest/ sensitization march took-off from the Alausa Central Mosque, Ikeja as the women group marched to the Lagos State Governor’s office in Ikeja.