Iyayi: Fashola flays use of siren

Apparently reacting to Tuesday’s killing of Festus Iyayi by Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State’s convoy on the Abuja-Lokoja highway, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday condemned the use of siren by political office holders in Nigeria and reckless driving by government convoys.
Iyayi, a Professor of Business Administration and Management, and one time President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), died when the vehicle in which he was travelling to Kano somersaulted several times after being brushed by a car in the Kogi Governor’s convoy.
He was heading to Kano to attend an enlarged National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the union where it was expected that the over four months university lecturers’ strike would have been called off.
Iyayi’s body is to be committed to mother earth in the first week of December.
But Fashola, who spoke at the ongoing 13th National Council on Transport in Lagos, said the practice of moving about with siren by public office holders amounts to oppressing taxpayers with their own money.
The Governor wondered why those elected by the people would continue to disturb the peace of those who elected them and gave them the free cars they were driving.
“Let us get rid of all this sirens. They aren’t made here. We buy them to enrich other economy. They were made in factories outside the country. And then we use loud horn especially the one used during emergency.
“Are we in a state of perpetual emergency? If those who manage the public transport policy can get away by using sirens, it will never work.
“From the day that I have become Governor in this state and until this moment, I haven’t had cause to use it and I don’t intend to use it.
“I detest noise, but I think that it is even worse that people elect us to manage public transport on their behalf and we choose to escape from it. After riding in a free car paid for, coupled with the free fuel, it is an abdication of duty.
“It must apply across the board. At least at the state level, I can speak. My commissioners have very clear order on that; they will lose their job if they do,” Fashola said.
He added that the country can develop a public transport system that responds to the public, protects people, creates jobs and promotes economic growth while improving national safety and security.
“Every form of unqualified person goes pass our security post in a siren. And we expect to be safe.
“Those we put there to protect us cannot even detect who is who. So when they approach a check point with a kidnapped victim in their boot, they just put on their siren and drive away,” he added.


Daily independent
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