Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, has absolved demons of responsibility for the high rate of road traffic accidents during ember months.
Oyeyemi said demon should not be blamed for road accidents when he spoke at the launch of the 10th edition of the “Don’t Drink and Drive’’ campaign of Nigerian Breweries (NB).
The programme was held in collaboration with the FRSC in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Corps marshal who was represented by the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, blamed the situation on recklessness and irresponsibility of motorists and others.
“The Ember Months being a period of festivities, people are wont to get drunk on daily basis in the name of celebration.
“Nigerians must be aware that frequent cases of road crashes during this period, particularly the ember months are unconnected to demonic activities.
“This campaign, therefore, is a timely reminder that drinking and driving do not only pose threat to the life of the drunk driver, but also to the lives and property of other of all road users.
“Such are still a threat to the state of road infrastructure which costs a lot of resources to produce and mount on the highways and city centers,” Oyeyemi said.
Oyeyemi then recalled that a total of 31 accidents involving 122 people were recorded during the 2016 ember month, leaving five persons dead and 53 injured.
He reiterated that driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs was largely responsible for the recorded cases of accidents
This, according to him, underscores the fact that a drunk driver is more likely to drive dangerously or involve in other life-threatening road traffic violations.
The FRSC Corps Marshall then lauded Nigerian Breweries for placing the safety of lives and property of its customers above profit with the “Don’t Drink and Drive’’ campaign.
The Managing Director of NB, Mr. Johan Doyer, said the campaign was an annual awareness creation and life-saving initiative designed to promote responsible drinking among drivers and other road users.
Doyer, who was also represented by the NB Head of Government Relations, Mr Vivian Ikem, said the programme, which has been running since 2008, was part of the company’s Brewing a Better World sustainability journey.
“For our road users, most especially our commercial drivers (tanker, luxury bus drivers and Keke and Okada riders), we want to encourage you to drink responsibly as the lives of the passengers are in your hands.
“One mistake on the wheel can take the lives of many people. Our message is clear and simple: don’t drink and drive.
“If there is any organisation that is properly positioned to send this message, I think it is the Nigerian Breweries, because ordinarily we should be asking people to drink so that we can sell and produce more.
“But we are more concerned about the lives of our fellow Nigerians than the money and profits that come to us an organisation,” Doyer remarked.
The NB chief executive commended the FRSC for the sustained commitment not only to the reduction of road traffic accidents and deaths, but also to the success of the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign.
Some transport union leaders present at the occasion promised to pass the message to their members as well as institute their own measures to prevent drunk driving.