The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have assured travelers of adequate patrol and surveillance of highways across the country to ensure a hitch-free Easter.
To this end, the Benue State Command of FRSC said 1,400 marshals would be deployed to various points across the state to ensure effective patrol during the Easter.
The Sector Commander, Mr Chidiebere Nwonta, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Makurdi.
“We are going to have 1,400 regular and special marshals, we are hoping to enjoy the support of other agencies,’’ Nwonta said.
According to him, the one week special patrol will begin on April 13 and end on April 18.
Nwonta said the command would also have expanded patrol throughout the Easter as “our men will work 24 hours daily.’’
He said the command was considering the high vehicular routes and had strategised to ensure sanity on those roads in the state.
“Our men will be posted to state and federal roads which include; Makurdi-Gboko, Makurdi-Naka, Makurdi Lafia and Makurdi-Aliade-Otukpo roads.
“Gboko-Katsina Ala-Taraba roads, Aliade-Otukpo-Otukpa roads, and all other routes will be monitored, the sector commander,’’ said.
According to him 18 vehicles, one ambulance and a tow truck have been stationed appropriately for emergencies.
“Our expectation this Easter is to have a stress-free traffic in Benue and to achieve that, we shall mobilise all that we have, personnel, logistics and the stakeholders too.
“We will be looking out for speed violators, overloading, drunk and dangerous drivers, use of cell phones and tyre violators.
“So as part of our strategy, we are going to extend the patrol period into the night and have a 24-hour ambulance standby,” Nwonta said.
Similarly, the corps in Osun has expressed its preparedness to ensure zero tolerance of road accidents during the celebration.
Mr Augustine Aipoh, the Zonal Commander of the Corps in Charge of Osun, Oyo, and Ondo spoke to NAN in Osogbo.
According to him, the command planned to deploy about 1,700 Special Marshals and 46 vehicles across the state to ensure safety of commuters and motorists.
He advised motorists in the state to cooperate with the Marshals and adhere to the highway codes during the period.
According to him, strict adherence by motorists will reduce carnages on the roads.
Aipoh urged motorists to ensure their vehicles were in proper condition before embarking on any journey.
The FRSC in Auchi also said it had deployed 18 personnel and 50 special marshals to patrol the Auchi-Benin highway to ensure safety during the Easter.
Mr Moses Bature, the Unit Commander of the corps in Auchi said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo.
“In Auchi command, 18 officers and 50 special marshals have been deployed to patrol the highway during and after the Easter.
“The volume of vehicles that plies the road are so enormous that we need to be proactive to ensure the roads are safer for the people during this period,” he said.
Bature said that the command had embarked on a full-scale enforcement to curb dangerous driving, overtaking as well as speed limit violation and overloading.
“My officers are out to sensitise them to drive carefully on the highway, if they have their worn out tyres, they should put them in order, they should not also overtake.
“Wrongful overtaking is what we don’t even like at this time because it is a period when some of them rush in to drop passengers and go back in other to make more money.
“Officers of the command have been deployed to the highways for daily patrol to ensure enforcement in order to ensure that motorists comply with existing traffic rules,’’ he said.
In the same vein, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Plateau Command said it had deployed 1,800 officers and men across the state to beef up security during the Easter period.
Mr Solomon Olasupo, NSCDC Commandant, Plateau Command said the majority of the personnel would be within the Jos-Bukuru metropolis.
The commandant explained that the personnel would be at strategic places such as recreational centres, churches and motor parks in order to forestall any breach of law and order.
He assured members of the public of the corps’ commitment to ensuring a peaceful Easter.
“I am reassuring the general public of the NSCDC’s commitment of working in synergy with sister security agencies in the state to forestall any break down of peace and order,” Olasupo said.
He advised residents in the state to be security conscious about movement of people around their surroundings.
The commandant also urged people to go about their legitimate businesses, but report any suspicious movements of groups or individuals to security agencies.
In another development, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also assured travelers that necessary operational and security measures had been put in place in airports across the country to ensure hitch-free operations during the Easter.
Mrs Herrienta Yakubu, Acting General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, gave the assurance while speaking with (NAN) in Lagos.
Yakubu said Aviation Security officers, in collaboration with other security agencies, had been deployed in strategic places within the airport environment to ensure safety of passengers and other airport users.
“Passenger facilitation at all our airports has also been enhanced by the upgrade of power installations, installation of modern and bigger conveyor belts and metal walk-through detectors, servicing of lifts and escalators.
“Stringent measures are being taken to eradicate the menace of touts and other unwholesome activities around the terminals.
“The expansion and modernisation of our airport terminals now provide better ambience and more space for restaurants at the terminals, as well as newly opened duty free shops.
“These provide duty-free shopping experience and help passengers relax comfortably while waiting for their flights,” she said.
Yakubu however advised intending travelers to make early arrangements for their travels and to leave home early on their travel dates, in order to complete their boarding schedules in good time.
“Our advice is that travelers, particularly those in Lagos because of the traffic situation, should leave home on time and arrive on time for their check-in.
“We wish all passengers safe and enjoyable Easter”, she said.
Also, the Spokesperson for the Lagos Airport Police Command, DSP Joseph Alabi told NAN that the Lagos Airport Commissioner of Police, Mr Besan Gwana, had briefed the officers on how to tighten security during the period.
Alabi said: “I want to tell you that security has been put in place toward this coming Easter and all hands are on deck’’.
“The security situation has improved drastically because for some time now, issues like stealing from bags of travelers have not occurred at the airport.
“We have also reduced cases of touting but we are not resting on our oars because security at the airport is very critical.’’
However, in spite of the festive period which was usually characterised by heavy human and vehicular movement, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Okitipupa chapter in Ondo State, said transport fares would not be increased.
Mr Sola Ikuidowo, the NURTW Chairman of Okitipupa said the union decided not to increase transport fares due to the present economic challenges in the country.
He also said that the chapter had sensitised its drivers on over speeding, over loading, dangerous driving and to abide with all traffic rules.
“Transport fares in the motor parks will remain the same this Easter because we dont want to add to the economic challenges of travelers.
“Our drivers have been sensitised to obey all traffic rules, travelers will enjoy their journey riding on our buses,’’ he said.
The NURTW boss, however, urged all drivers to treat passengers with respect and ensure they drive with valid driver’s lincense and use the association’s identity cards stipulated by NURTW.