Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Worried by the spate of road accidents on the Nigerian roads, the Senate, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to reconstruct all bad roads across the country to stop such tragedies.
The Red Chamber expressed particular concern with the recent road carnage that claimed the lives of six prominent medical doctors and their driver from Ekiti State along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
As a result, the Upper Legislative Chamber mandated the Federal Ministry of Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to “ensure that a renewed vigour is directed to the maintenance and reconstruction of all portions of our roads that have become more or less death traps to the motoring public”.
It also urged the executive and relevant government agencies to set up ambulance services along major highways in the country.
The above resolutions were sequel to a motion moved to that effect by Senator Duro Faseyi over the death of the medical doctors and their driver in a ghastly motor accident.
Faseyi, in the motion titled: “The Demise of six (6) prominent medical doctors and their driver from Ekiti State in a ghastly motor accident along Abuja-Kaduna road”, noted that the accident that killed the doctors in a 13-sitter passenger bus occurred at the same spot where the late Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr. John Ocholi, died alongside his wife, son and driver in a motor accident.
“This is indeed one loss too many. Road accidents have remained the leading cause of death in Nigeria year in year out,” he noted.
According to him, lack of proper emergency response facilities for critical trauma cases and non-availability of medical doctors on hand at Doka General Hospital, where the late doctors were rushed to, led to their death.
“This incident has further cast a negative shadow over the entire health sector in the country, as it happened at a time when all medical facilities are short of well, trained personnel, bearing in mind that the deceased doctors were all experts in different fields of medical practice,” he said.
Faseyi identified the deceased as doctors Aladesanmi and Adeniyi James of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ido-Ekiti; Ojo Taiwo of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, (EKSUTH), Ogunseye of the Health Management Board; Olajide, President of EKSUTH Association of Resident Doctors, ARD; Akinleye Lexy, Secretary, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA in the State and their driver, Mr. Ajibola.
The Senate, therefore, urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to step up public enlightenment campaign on the use of the highway codes for safety of motorists.
In their contributions, senators, who described the death of the professionals as unfortunate, charged the executive to ensure that all bad roads across the country are either rehabilitated or reconstructed as the case may be.
Senator Theodore Orji, who noted with sadness that the accident happened at almost the same spot, where a serving minister died recently, said that many roads across the country have become death traps.
While insinuating that evil spirit must have taken over the road, the lawmaker stressed the need for Ministry of Works and FERMA to fix the road and other bad ones as soon as possible with a view to stopping such ugly incident in the country.
Senator Shehu Sani, however, dismissed the insinuation, saying the evil spirit, if existing, was in the leaders, who have refused to do the right thing at the right time.
On his own, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa stressed the need to review the Act establishing FERMA with a view to making it alive to its responsibility of rehabilitating bad portions of roads in the country.
Senator Biodun Olujimi lamented that the death of the doctors has created vacuum at the main health institutions in the State.
In his own remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the Plenary, said that the accident had exposed the improper emergency response facilities for critical trauma cases
He, therefore, charged the relevant agencies to always enforce the speed limits on motorists in the country.