On bad roads

The Obafemi Awolowo University community was on Monday, September 2, thrown into mourning as two of the candidates seeking admission into the university died in an automobile accident while on their way to the venue of their post-UTME examination. They were commuting from the university main campus to the distance learning centre at Moro town, Ile-Ife.

The accident claimed the lives of both the students and the rider of the commercial motorcycle they boarded. Those young and promising students joined thousands of casualties consumed by our roads on daily basis. Their hope of gaining admission into one of the best universities in the land was cut short by a failed system. But, does this not raise questions about the admission competition, where many compete for few admission slots? Is there anyone that’s actually dull?  Why can’t we have an admission system where each candidate is tested in whatever he is good at and is sent to study further in that field?

According to the statistics released by Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) earlier this year, it was revealed that there were 1,618 deaths recorded in three months (December 2018 – February 2019) on Nigerian roads.

As alarming as that figure is, it must be noted that there are many more unrecorded cases. More alarming and pathetic is the lackadaisical attitude of government towards it. You would expect that a responsible government would have taken steps to find a lasting solution to the menace. The deaths of Nigerians do not move our government. The roads are used for mere politics and business, as they have become campaign slogans for elections. The contracts for roads that politicians give out to their cronies are a constant means that politicians use to siphon funds through outrageous figures of inflated budgets.

It is pathetic that there is always a way Nigeria keeps murdering her citizens; herdsmen, kidnappers, armed robbers, terrorists, bad roads, collapsed healthcare are ready-made deaths taking Nigerians on daily basis. If you escape kidnapping, pray you or any of your family members don’t have a serious health issue. If armed robbers do not attack you, pray fervently when you have to travel on any Nigerian road. We have been turned to prayer warriors. Yet, our material problems can only have material solutions; no amount of prayers can change them.

Those promising students are casualties of our roads. Many have been since that Monday; many more will still be as long as our government keeps being irresponsible. We don’t know who the next casualty is.

Oyewole Temitope, Ile Ife

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