Nigerian Road Killer

What do you call a trailer hauling a detached iron container on some of Nigeria's narrow roads? Call it what you want, l have dubbed it a road killer. Indeed, a mass murderer.

Here is my account of what l witnessed in Nigeria on August 13, 2008 at about 2pm.

I had just left the Murital Muhammed International Airport 2 (also known as MM2 Airport) in Ikeja, Lagos. After driving for about 5 minutes, l noticed that traffic lanes were being diverted by a group of army and a crowd of people congregated and eyeing a derailed trailer. People practically encircled the derailed trailer. The climate was very hot and muggy but the unbearable weather did not deter the people from the gruesome accident.  

Apparently the detached container on a flat bed trailer had tipped off whilst making a left turn. The minute my eyes caught the sight if the accident, my first thought was only God knows the numbers of people such as pedestrians, vendors, hawkers, beggars, peddlers, traders, etc trapped under the overturned container. As you know, every spot is a bus stop in Nigeria with people waiting for mass transit bus and other commercial activities taking place. I don't know the number of people killed by the hauler. But l did see, vividly, a female head projected beneath the overturned container whilst the rest of her body had been trapped underneath the container. Ibifuro, my friend, who was in the car with me commented that the female body trapped underneath the container appeared to be running away from the falling container. Olawale, my driver, claimed that the woman was properly waiting for a public transit. Ha, I am still grieved by the sight of the woman.

I am overcome with emotions every time the scene of the accident image comes to my head. God help us in Nigeria.  

My poignant question to the transportation authorities is why do you allow flat bed trailers to haul detached containers? Or why are you turning blind eyes to societal killers? Be mindful that some of the victims may be your relatives.  It seems to me that it is the normal practice, in Nigeria, to haul detached containers on flat bed trailers. I saw many other trailers hauling detached containers in Nigeria. So l made a decision to take pictures.  Obviously, these hauliers (truck drivers) do not know what it means to apply "safety first" on the road.


A flat bed trailer hauling a detached iron container

 

When do Nigeria going to value humanity? Being a developing country is not a reason to discount mankind. It pains me that with all the brains we have in Nigeria, many essentials in life are neglected. Is it a dangerous act to wait at a bus-stop for a public transportation?

Is it also dangerous to walk on the road at 2pm? Do people have to be home-based 24/7 to stay alive in Nigeria? Nigeria may have a low gross national product as quoted and calculated by the World Bank and other national agencies around the world. But let it be known that by all and every calculations in the universe, Nigeria has intellectuals, academics and progressive minded citizens. Sadly the bad apples have negated the good and prolific ones. 

Alas, my fellow Nigerians, the accident of August 13, 2008 could have been avoided.

While l was in college many years ago, l drove a truck to finance my college education.

Hence, l have some knowledge on truck driving safety. The transportation authority should implement, among others, the following safety measures:

1) Containers on flat bed trailer must be undetached. Container must be clung to the flat bed using chains that are securely fastened to the body of the truck. 

2) Trucks must be prohibited from some areas because haulage in a densely populated area is hazardous. Where haulage is inevitable for goods delivery, then days such as Sundays may be assigned for haulage. Traffics are less congested on Sundays.

3) Haulage weight must be regulated and strictly enforced.

4) Inspection of both the physical and mechanical body of the haulage itself must be enforced. Operating a truck without a brake is just as hazardous as hauling a detached iron container on a flat bed trailer.  

5) Hauliers must be subjected to special driving education. Training for the hauler must entails, in addition to truck driving, psychological screening and behavioral evaluation.  

6) Offenders of any of these measures and/or any existing transportation laws must be punished to the fullest length of the law.

I whole-heartedly plead with the transportation authority in Nigeria to consider the above stated measures. Furthermore, if these measures are already in place, then they need to be retooled and mightily enforced for the sole betterment of every citizen of Nigeria. We hold posterity a better and conducive Nigeria.

Let's get the road killer off the road now. Nigeria has a bright future. We must save lives.



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Re: Nigerian Road Killer
WaleAkin posted on 09-09-2008, 20:03:51 PM
In 2002, a 40ft container not properly latched to its trailer head disengaged and rolled down Ojuelegba bridge killing scores!

It's an eyesaw when you drive on Malu Road towards Panalpina at RORO port, Apapa and see these trailers with their containers dangling precariously, accidents waiting to happen!

These trailers negotiate roundabouts at excessive speed and u'd be shocked to see the "Trailer Boys" with wooden wedges as they run alongside the trailers on slopy roads................

Just a forthnigt ago, a trailer with a container on top almost ran into Oluwalogbon Motors at the corner of Agidingbin Road as it was about to turn, i let off my hand on the steering and shouted Mo gbe ohhhhh

Balded tyres, cracked windscreen, faulty brakes, smoky exhausts and deafening engine noise are the characteristics of these vehicles!
Re: Nigerian Road Killer
Multioption posted on 09-10-2008, 07:00:07 AM
QUOTE:
In 2002, a 40ft container not properly latched to its trailer head disengaged and rolled down Ojuelegba bridge killing scores!

It's an eyesaw when you drive on Malu Road towards Panalpina at RORO port, Apapa and see these trailers with their containers dangling precariously, accidents waiting to happen!

These trailers negotiate roundabouts at excessive speed and u'd be shocked to see the \"Trailer Boys\" with wooden wedges as they run alongside the trailers on slopy roads................

Just a forthnigt ago, a trailer with a container on top almost ran into Oluwalogbon Motors at the corner of Agidingbin Road as it was about to turn, i let off my hand on the steering and shouted Mo gbe ohhhhh

Balded tyres, cracked windscreen, faulty brakes, smoky exhausts and deafening engine noise are the characteristics of these vehicles!
Welcome to Nigeria!
Re: Nigerian Road Killer
Jangirofa posted on 09-10-2008, 10:40:18 AM
Several years ago, I was travelling through the Ilorin-Minna road via the strech popularly called \"Corner mutum\" (literally, death-corner). Our car was viciously off-roaded by a speeding articulated-vehicles (so-called trailer). We escaped unhurt and unscartched. We caught up with it again at the trailer-stop. Guess whats written on its back? 'baban mutum'. In my broken Hausa, thats 'father of all death\"; and thats exactly what they'd been.
I am sure when we learn to NOT make the trailers-owners' the chair and board members of our Railway Corporation, perhaps the rail line will become viable again. Perhaps, there will be less baban-mutum on our roads. Perhaps their will be lesser unnecessary death, our roads spoilt less frequently and probably our airs less poluted. But first, non-trailer owners' Nigeria Railway Commission - or Am just daydreaming?(
Re: Nigerian Road Killer
Gbolly posted on 09-12-2008, 21:00:49 PM
Thank u ....
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