The Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has commended the prompt and proactive response of President Goodluck Jonathan to the recent flooding across the nation by providing reliefs, granting access to the nation’s strategic grains reserves and mobilizing the private sector to come to the aid of the victims, describing the emergency measures as unprecedented. He gave his commendation while flagging off the nationwide road safety campaign of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) tagged “Do the Right Thing: Drive to Stay Alive” in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at the Akure Ultra-Modern Motor Park, Ondo State. Governor Mimiko observed that “Nigerians need to learn how to celebrate what is good. Nigeria is not all about corruption and Boko Haram. If the president does something that is good, let us talk about it and celebrate him”. He ranked the Federal Government’s response to the recent floods far higher than that of the United States Government to the hurricane Catherina and the recent hurricane Sandy disasters in New Orleans and New York respectively. He said President Jonathan deserves all commendation for doing what the government of developed countries could not do for their countries and thereby mitigating the effects of the floods.
Governor Mimiko commended the “Do the Right Thing” campaign and pledged to do everything possible to engrave the concept of the campaign in the consciousness of the people of the State. He observed the high rate of 162 deaths in 100,000 accidents, the second highest in the world was very alarming and called for a change in the attitudes of Nigerian road users.
The Governor condemned the sale of cigarettes, alcohol and hard substances in and around motor parks across the country, stressing that such create necessary environment for the facilitation of accidents as drivers are exposed to the influence of such substances. He however announced that the state had procured state of the art extrication equipment, ambulances and toll free numbers to enable the State’s emergency agencies respond to road accidents and other emergencies in a maximum of twenty minutes from the time of their occurrence.
In his address at the flag-off, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri said the choice of Ondo State for the launch of the campaign was in recognition of the giant efforts of the State Government in the transport sector. He regretted that road accidents has assumed prime position as the primary cause of death in the country and urged Nigerians to do the right thing on the highways by obeying all traffic regulations, especially during this yuletide. Mr. Omeri also reminded law enforcement officers that there is no law backing their harassment of law abiding citizen on the highway and charged all officers involved in such practice to desist.
The Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr. Osita Chidoka, represented by the South West Zonal Commander of the Corps, Assistant Corps Marshal Luka Sambo Kinnya admonished road users to take note of the road conditions and apply common sense speed limits when using the roads as most roads are under construction. He also appealed to State Governors to assist the corps in establishing more out posts as well as providing equipment to enable the corps respond more speedily to any road emergencies that may arise during the yuletide.
The Ondo State Commissioner of Police, represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Henry Fadairo in a goodwill message commended the partnership between the NOA and FRSC which he said would go a long way to save lives and reduce road accidents against the background of increase in accidents and accident related deaths in the State between 2011 and 2012. The Secretary General of the NURTW, Comrade Joel Kolawole in his own message, however, pledged the commitment of the Union to ensuring its members complied to traffic regulations in the yuletide to minimize road hazards in the State and its environs.
The launch had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, the Ondo State Commissioner for Transport, Otunba Nicholas Tofowomo, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr. Osita Chidoka, Sector Commanders of Ondo, Osun and Oyo States, the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Customs Service, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other stakeholders in the transport sector. Highlight of the launch was a ceremonial “Drive to Stay Alive” road walk led by the Governor.