The NYSC Ondo State Coordinator, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani has made passionate appeal to leadership and members of the road unions in the state to support NYSC in her bid to stop night travelling by corps members.
The State Coordinator made the appeal while addressing stakeholders in the transport industry at the popular and centrally located Ilesa Garage Motor Park in Akure, the state capital.
Mrs. Ani who was a special guest of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) during the flag-off of Ember Months, an initiative of the Corps, praised the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) for always identifying with the noble Scheme.
The Ember Months initiative, which is principally centred round sensitisation of drivers on the need to drive safely and be responsible to other road users especially during the last four months of the year targets stakeholders in the transport industry.
“Our dear friends in the transport industry notably the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), I am extremely elated to be in your midst this morning to lend my voice to the need for behavioural change among our drivers to drive responsibly during the ember months and to equally appreciate the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for sustaining this programme which was introduced some years back”.
“NYSC is proud to associate with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) as this collaboration is in tandem with the vision of the Scheme’s management to ensure that nothing untoward happens to our children as they navigate their ways to various orientation camps nationwide, and critical stakeholders in this direction are the road unions who carry prospective corps members to states of deployment”.
She said that some drivers who in a bid to maximise profit during this period, throw caution to the wind and embark on needless night journeys not minding the state of the roads.
“Many drivers have seen this period of taking prospective corps members to various orientation camps nationwide as a bonanza period in which they want to maximise profit at the expense of their own security and that of patriotic Nigerians mobilised for national service. The roads are not what it used to be and travelling overnight endangers the precious lives of these committed and selfless youths who have given up everything to serve their fatherland”.
“In as much as we cannot totally blame the drivers for this unpleasant happening because it takes two to tango, it is however their responsibility as fathers and brothers to these illustrious Nigerians to reject their overture or request to travel overnight in a bid to arrive orientation camps on time”.
The NYSC Ondo State boss lamented that avoidable road motor accidents occur in the night and stated likewise that people with evil intentions take advantage of the night to lay onslaught on their would-be victims, and urged membership of this critical sector to think of safeguarding their own lives and that of precious youths by refusing at nights.
“Let me inform the responsible fathers and brothers here seated who will not act in a manner that will truncate the unaccomplished dreams of these future leaders that presently, we have longer nights and shorter days. The implications being that it gets dark while it is still yet the day, and we are begging the drivers who are already in transit to cut their journeys once it is 6pm and continue the next day while those who are planning to start their journeys by night time should drop the dangerous idea” she pleaded.
“To the road union leaders and Park Managers, I want to encourage you all to wield a big stick against those that will turn deaf ears to reasoning. Bring them to book and sanction them. Who knows the life they are endangering or toying with could be that of someone very close or dear to you. It is our collective responsibility to protect these youths who are our future from becoming permanent incapacitated or drain on our pockets as a result of treatment caused by road traffic accidents”.
The State Coordinator also used the forum to advise other travellers as well as those who earn their daily livelihood through patronage from the parks to join hands with NYSC and her stakeholders to put a permanent stop to this madness that has turned several households into grief and mourning.
“Our lives and that of Nigeria graduate youths are precious, let us reason together to protect and preserve it from the careless people who doesn’t value it for the great of this country. No nation can become great without the immeasurable and unquantifiable impact of its creative and ingenuity of her youths” she concluded.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Corps Commander Son-Allah Ezekiel as well as other critical stakeholders in the transport industry lauded the foresightedness of the NYSC management team for this giant step which they believe will yield positive result.
The State Coordinator was accompanied to the flag-off ceremony by Assistant Directors and other Heads as well as Field Officers in Akure Zone and corps members who are drawn from Road Safety CDS group.