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Yobe residents, authorities decry road crashes, overloading

The residents of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, and authorities of the state have expressed concern over the high number of road crashes and overloading…

The residents of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, and authorities of the state have expressed concern over the high number of road crashes and overloading on the Kano-Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.

The residents blamed drivers for not giving value to their lives and the authorities for giving soft punishment to violators of road traffic rules.

Khalid Ibrahim, a human rights activist said, ‘‘If authorities like the Federal Road Safety Corps are doing their job as a responsible agency, I think the problem will reduce to the minimum.

 ‘‘The drivers have a lot of contributions in this aspect because firstly, before you acquire the driving license, you have to undergo the driving school training but they are not abiding by the rules and regulations being governed by authorities,’’ he said.

However, the motorists and drivers said overloading is necessary due to the high cost of living and subsidy removal by the government.

 The drivers said from Kano to Damaturu and Maiduguri, they used to pay N500 to N1000 at each checkpoint.

 Aminu Ahmed, a commercial driver said, ‘‘The hardship experienced forces us to take overload. If you go to Kano and come back without getting something to give to security men, you cannot go free. That is why we are doing overload, to recoup our profit that is taken by security men.’’ 

Another driver, Kabiru Mustapha, said ‘‘The high cost of fuel is responsible. When you load goods and passengers, and you haven’t made profit you must look for an alternative. We want the government to subsidize the price of petroleum,’’ he said.

When contacted, the Executive Secretary of Yobe State Emergency Medical Ambulance Services, Mallam Abdullahi Danshuwa, said the agency has been recording cases of accidents daily as a result of overloading on the Kano-Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.

 ‘‘We have recorded cases of accidents precisely at least more than 10 times a week. So that is very serious and this agency has recorded so many cases of road traffic accidents and they are associated with the overloading of passengers and goods.

According to the Federal Road Safety Corps, between January 1 and June 2023, over 4,000 lives were lost due to road accidents this had 731 fatalities each month, and 24 lives lost daily across the country.

 

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