By Sulaiman Maijama’a
I was surfing Facebook in the last week when I came across a post by Lawal Mu’azu Bauchi, the Special Assistant on New Media to the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, announcing that the Governor had assented to an executive bill for the regulation, control and management of traffic in the state. The bill which will actualise the establishment of road traffic management agency according to the Governor would be a tool for sanitizing towns and villages of the state in terms of traffic rules violation by road users. Myself, being a victim of reckless driving by motorists, Keke Napep and Motorcycle riders, I was engulfed by a bubble of excitement, envisaging the likely positive impacts the agency will make, when established.
It’s common knowledge that over the years, there has been growing traffic congestion in Bauchi State and because there is no any state owned agency purposely created and saddled with the responsibility of ensuring strict adherence to traffic rules, recklessness in driving and parking, over speeding and over loading have become like a norm, knowing fully that this violation attracts no punishment. This, therefore, became a serious issue of concern as the accidents within the state is becoming a daily basis affair, claiming some lives and leaving others sustaining injuries.
But one may be surprised despite the fact that there is no point of comparison between traffick conjestion in Kano and in Bauchi, why the rate of accident within Kano metropolis is limited?
I was once on Keke Napep in Kano from Kwari Market going to BUK. I was in haste because I wanted to show up on time in order not to miss a class. The rider was carefully driving on a low speed, obeying all the traffic rule, therefore taking time. I had to complain and asked him to be on high speed and byepass the rule, follow one way and all that. He shook his head and said to me ” if the KAROTA arrested me, I would have to pay the price. Look in Kano we are all accustomed to observing traffic rules. And note that this is possible with the establishment of the KAROTA.”
Upon realising the efforts of the KAROTA in Kano towards ensuring sanity in road traffic by instilling sense of responsibility into the road users, I wished and hoped Bauchi had something similar. Now with the assent of the bill by Governor Bala for the establishment of a similar agency likely to be named BAROTA, it became like a daydream becoming true. There is every likelihood that similar situation that gives rise to traffick rule compliance will equally be actualised; the recklessness will reduce and therefore reducing the rate of accident in the State. This is from experience as similar agencies have been in existence in Kano, Kaduna and Lagos, and the goals and aims have been achieved.
The disorganized state of transportation in Bauchi is to the extent that in almost all highways in the State, there exists an unregistered, unknown and illegal motor parks loading passengers for inter-states travell. I have always seen that as a security threat because in such situations even kidnappers can impersonate drivers and have victims at their disposal in an easiest way. I’m happy that the soon to be established agency will look into this issue with a view to addressing the potential challenges.
Apart from addressing the alarming rate of accident and other potential traffic challenges, this bill as signed by Governor Bala is also a glad tidings to the teeming youth who have been yearning for job aspiring to be engaged by the government, as at the first phase of the initiative, two hundred (200) youth will be employed. This may not be unconnected with why from the comments of people on social media platforms, it appears the youth are filled with an overwhelming sense of happiness for they are the direct beneficiaries of the move. I believe fully that, by actualising this agency, the depression for lack of employment that usually produce tiny miscreants who eventually become gangsters out of idle mind, will now be minimally reduced or even completely eliminated.
Not only that, the State’s Government internally generated revenue will be boosted through collection of tax from commercial road users and of course by imposing fine on anyone found violating traffic rule. Perhaps out of the revenue, the governor may pay the employees of the agency their monthly stipend and even have spare fund.
For me personally, I can categorically say that, this bill, out of the sixteen bills signed by the governor from inception of his administration, if not the best, is among the best ones, taking into consideration the three most important benefits it will bring, namely: reducing the rate of accident, providing the teeming youth with job and increasing the state’s internally generated revenue. In Hausa adage ” jifan tsun-tsu uku da dutse daya”.
I recommend, awareness be created, relevant people be employed and proper implementation be ensured. With this the purpose will be served and the aim will be achieved.
Maijama’a, writes from Faculty of Communication, BUK.firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily