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270 Injured, 35 Die, As Anambra Records 97 Road Accident in Eleven Months

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

No fewer than 97 road traffic crashes were recorded in Anambra State between January 1 and November 30, 2023, while 25 out of the 97 crashed were fatal.

The Sector Commander of the Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Anambra, CC Adeoye Irelewuyi disclosed this on Saturday, while interacting newsmen at Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area during a hangout with the media.

According to him, a total of 820 persons were involved in the 97 traffic crashes recorded in the State, out of whom 270 sustained varied degrees of injuries, 35 persons lost their lives.

CC Irelewuyi added that the figures show a significant improvement when compared with the 2022 figures where a total of 132 road traffic crashes involving 1,048 persons were recorded in the State, out of which 42 were fatal, claiming lives of 64 persons, while 306 persons sustained varied degrees of injury.

While noting that the aim of the event was to socialize with the pen pushers in the State and appreciate them for their support for the year; the Corps Commander said despite the security threats and high risks to personnel safety, the Command had remained undaunted in its efforts to drastically reduce road traffic crashes in the State as well as create safer motoring environment.

According to him, the Command also arrested 1,953 traffic offenders with 2,119 offences between January and November and impounded 332 vehicles, which, he said, was an improvement when compared to 2022 where 1,381 offenders were arrest with 1,493 offences and 382 impoundments recorded.

“The Command will continue to strive harder to ensure the achievement of the Corps’ Corporate Strategic goals as well as the United Nations target of reduction of RTC by 50% by the year 2030,” he said.

On the Command’s preparedness for the 2023 Yuletide, he explained their plan to commence the Operation Zero Tolerance to RTC, which, he said, would start nationwide on December 15 and run through January, 15. He further outlined the Command’s strategies to ensure the success of the exercise in Anambra state.

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These strategies, according to him, include deployment of about 1000 personnel across the state (Regular and Special Marshals inclusive), engaging in robust traffic management and public enlightenment, and synergizing with critical stakeholders and sister security agencies, all towards ensuring a successful Operations Zero Tolerance.

“Presently we are discussing with the representatives of MTN and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) Anambra on the possibility of opening the Onitsha-bound lane of the Expressway to traffic as from the 15th of December, 2023. This, we believe will ease the pressure of traffic at the Amawbia Flyover.

“Similarly, we are discussing the possibility of some emergency repairs of critical portions of the expressway at Onitsha—Owerri Road, Bridge Head, and other points, as palliative measures, so as to ensure free traffic flow,” he said.

While noting that the State Command has also received the delivery of a brand new 70-ton Tow Truck (Juggernaut) from the National HQ to ensure prompt removal of obstructions and reduce gridlock; CC Irelewuyi added that the Command would establish 3 Help Areas along the critical corridors of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway (Onitsha, Nteje, and Amansea), to ensure prompt response to road traffic crashes and other traffic situations that may require intervention of the Corps.

The Corps Commander who fielded questions from newsmen regarding the usage of the 2nd Niger Bridge, underage driving, blocking of roads during celebration, improper vehicle lighting, abandoning of spoilt vehicles on the road, among other issues, further appreciated the journalists in the State for their support, while also calling for sustained partnership with the Corps.

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Contributing, the Head of New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS), Awka Plant, CC Oko Etuali who gave an overview of plate number production and issuance in the country, harped on the need to always follow the normal procedure to replace damaged or lost plate number, even as he enumerated the risks associated with doing it the illegal way.

He further reminded the public of the dangers of selling one’s vehicle together with its plate number, as any criminal activities linked to the vehicle would be traced to the original owner, whether committed by him or not.

Other top-ranking officers of the Command, including the Corps Commander in charge of Operations, DCC Okaro Awassam; the State Coordinator, Special Marshall, Mr. Esumai Patrick; and the Assistant Corps Commander in charge of Onitsha Unit Command, ACC Jude Nnamani, were also present at the event.

The event also featured the presentation of awards to some deserving journalists in Anambra State and members of the Corps for being outstanding in their effort and commitment in promoting the affairs of the Command, including the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu; former Public Education of Officer of the Command, Paschal Arinze Anigbo, among others.

In a vote of thanks, the NUJ Anambra Chairman, Dr. Odogwu, represented by the Vice Chairman, Mrs. Ngozi Obileri, attested that there had been a significant reduction in the figure of road traffic crashes in the State this year, and commended the Corps for its efforts in promoting safety in the State. The NUJ Chairman further appreciated the Corps Commandant for organizing the gathering, while also assuring of continuous partnership between the Union and the Command.

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