By OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJU
It was an emotional occasion when thousands of Lagos pupils from various educational districts across the 20 local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State on Friday honoured their friends and mates from Cornerstone School, along Lekki Ajah Expressway who died in a fatal accident on Wednesday.
Ironically, the accident happened same day the United Nations set aside for the flagged off the decade of Action for Road Safety.
The pupils wore black armbands at the Lagos State commemoration of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa Secretariat wore black with Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, weeping openly.
In her presentation, 15 years old Anifowose Maria, a student of Community High School Wasimi Maryland, informed that the business of road safety requires collaborative effort with government in order to ensure the safety of lives especially children who are most vulnerable.
“My heart was broken when I learnt about the accident along Lekki road that claimed the lives of about three children who were on their way to school, because those young children that died in the unfortunate accidents have a bright future that could have been protected but unfortunately this happened because somebody did not keep the safety rules.”
Maria who was among the students selected from the state Traffic Advocacy club that went on a trip to the United Kingdom recently, commended the state government foresight for implementing programmes that has to a large extent addressed the 2020 traffic safety measures projected by the United Nations (UN).
“The UN has a vision from 2011_2020 but Lagos is already ahead of them with the traffic safety advocacy programme through which we enlighten young people on the things that they need to know on the road so that when they grow up they would be more conscious about road safety.”
Maria further expressed optimism with the implementation of the traffic laws in Lagos State, noting that very soon the traffic situation in the state would improve tremendously.”
In his opening remarks, Opeifa, said the government has commenced the implementation of the UN action plan through the implementation of various programs.
He said till date the State has established road safety clubs in over 700 public and private schools, just as it has also nurtured over 10,000 road safety ambassadors to spread the message of safety on roads.
An emotional laden Opeifa lamented that May 11 the day the UN set aside for the decade was the same the devil struck and claimed the lives of three children.
Opeifa lamented that most of the accidents that has led to wanton lives and properties in the state would have been avoided if the road users had respected and complied with traffic rules and regulations.
“We all must support government to stop these preventable and avoidable road crashes to make our roads safer. We can control ourselves; we can also control the driver”, he added.
The students also staged dance drama as well as choreography to drive home their message of road safety in Nigeria.