Road crash: Students leaders decry deplorable state of Nigeria roads …Ask govt to compensate slain Poly Ibadan students

By Olalekan Abdullah

Disturbed by the spate of road accidents in the country, student leaders have bemoaned the what was described as abysmal and deplorable state of many Nigeria roads which has cost many lives.

Meanwhile, the backdrop has been blamed on the leadership of the country which, according to the students leaders, has yet live to the expectations of the citizenry.

This was contained in a statement signed by the public relations officer of the University of Lagos Students’ Union (ULSU), Jumai Fagbui.

According to the statement, the ULSU president, Comrade Mohammed Olaniyan, noted that the blames needed to be partly shared by the government and the generality of the citizens.

He added that government has failed to construct most of our roads.

The statement read, “That the constructed ones are not properly and jealously maintained by the public, is also true.

“Again, we agree that the materials used are usually substandard. But, that still does not obliterate the fact that the users of the roads themselves are insouciant about the constructed roads. It is worrisome that heavy trucks are still constituting a bigger threat on our roads today.

“Also, despite the innumerable recommendations by the road safety agencies, drivers still drive recklessly. Some still take “one way”. Bike men are still found on the roads they are barred from. Drivers pick calls while driving. Some drink while driving. Others do not even have drivers’ licenses.

Noting that all these are not obviously problems of the government, Olaniyan said, ” They are the responsibilities of the citizens. If we cannot do little things as this ourselves, then we do not have the moral leaning to criticize the government.”

Speaking on the issue, the chairman of The Progressives, a dominant political group in UNILAG, Comrade Sirajudeen Adebakin, submitted that the Nigeria roads are no doubt, pathways to the great beyond because of it terrific State.

He noted that the attitudes of the ruling class towards the yearnings of the masses who ply the roads was “epileptic.”

Adebakin said, “Government officials and the bourgeoisies fly with tax payers money and they fail in the maintenance of existing roads.

“Many lives most especially youth ended on these roads because our leaders are not proactive in nation building but hyperactive in stealing and intellectual robbery.

“I am also aware that a number of Nigerian youths vandalise the roads to create holdups for business purposes (Hawking) but we can still attribute it to the failure of governance and government institutions.”

The 400L-Psychology finalist however, advised that the government reduce the bureaucratic trend of attending to road maintenance.

He also asked the government at all levels to engage youths in the policies of the state as he said those found guilty of vandalism should be publicly punished.

Giving his own perspective on the issue, the president of Social Science Students Association (SOSSA), UNILAG, Comrade Saheed Ipaye, lamented that it was highly disheartening that Nigeria roads are till far from the expected standard.

He noted that the backdrop has affected the economy and the entire populace.

He said, “It’s very unfortunate that the trend has had a bad effect on the country at large including the students. There is an adverse effect has been one the lives of innocent Nigerian students

Ipaye advised the government to look into a standard construction of our roads adding that it has a very significant role to play in national development.

For the national development of Nigeria, he asked the government to focus on every aspect of our social institutions.

Meanwhile, the ULSU president has commiserated with the students of the Polytechnic, Ibadan who were recently slain in a road accident.

It will be recalled that six students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan in Oyo State were recently confirmed dead in an automobile crash which occurred at Motunde, on Ibadan-Oyo Road at about 6:00p.m on Monday.

Thirteen other occupants of the 18-seater bus reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury.

In the same vein, several cases of accidents have been recorded on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in the last few week where many lives including students were lost.

The condolence message reads, “To the fleshes on which the soil feasted, I commiserate. To the souls which departed, I wish a peaceful rest. To the generality of the Polytechnic Ibadan Students and Staff, I present my profound condolence.

“Indeed, the tragedy that befell the polytechnic Ibadan on Monday bestows sorrow both on the families of the deceased and the nation at large.

“The families should tear for their loved ones. The nation, on her end, should weep for the departure of these stars, and for more to come. Hence, it seems like the nation has more to lose than the bereaved families.

“Unfortunately, while we might pray that the Lord stall future tragedies in the affected families, it is uncertain if this prayer will be effective for the Nigeria.”

The ULSU leader noted that an anatomical dissection of the tragic occurrence has revealed that the accident was largely due to the deplorability of the roads the unfortunate commuters were plying.

“Yet, the government does not seem perturbed by the growing number of tragic occurrences. Indeed, paraphrasing Leo Strobel, so much of our suffering results from the sinful actions or inactions of those who lead us,” he said.

Olaniyan has however, asked the government to compensate slain students and their respective families.