By Muhammad Nasir Bashir
Dutse – The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Jigawa Command, has advised motorists to watch out for camels while driving on highways in the state to avoid colliding with the animals.
Mr Angus Ibezim, the FRSC Sector Commander in the state, gave the advice in a statement in Dutse on Wednesday.
He said that the advice became necessary in view of high influx of camels into the state and the dangers they pose to road users.
Ibezim said it was important to maintain approved speed limit, so as to avoid the animals and avert accidents.
He further advised commercial drivers to install speed limiting device, as well as fasten their seatbelt while their vehicles are in motion.
The sector commander pointed out that the gesture was to reduce crash severity and fatality.
According to him, efforts are being made by the corps through advocacy and awareness campaigns in collaboration with state command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in identifying the owners of the camels believed to be mostly from Niger Republic.
He added that some of the camels belong to cartels engaged in trans-border herding and transactions.
Ibezim added that the advocacy and awareness campaign also engaged traditional and religious leaders, and drivers in motor parks.
“Part of the efforts being made by the command is tabling the matter at the State Security Committee meeting and engagement with State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
“Therefore, drivers are admonished to desist from excessive speed to enable them stabilize whenever they encounter the camels on the highway.
“Equally, commercial drivers should endeavor to install speed limiting device, as well as ensure they fasten their seatbelt while their vehicles are in motion.
“This, will reduce crash severity and fatality on the highways,” Ibezim advised.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there is high influx of stray camels on major roads and highways in some parts of the state.
The camels had caused several road crashes, with most them resulting to deaths of passengers.
NAN also recalls that Alhaji Aminu Sule, the then Caretaker Committee
Chairman of Gagarawa Local Government Council, had in 2016, urged the
Jigawa Government to regulate the movement of camels on major roads in
the state to reduce traffic accidents.
Sule advised that concrete measures be taken against the camel owners, as they had been causing serious accidents especially on major roads in Maigatari, Gumel, Taura, Jahun and Kiyawa Local Government Areas of the state.
He noted that under-aged children were mostly sent out to graze the camels, and such children were often unable to control the animals.
The then LG boss, therefore, urged the state government and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to take measures to address the problem.
Also, in March 2017, the FRSC sector commander, had made similar call and urged for called for collaboration between all security agencies in the state to check the menace.
“The major work is for Immigration officers, because our borders are not only supposed to be safe from illegal immigrants or contraband products but also from illegal animals”.
In the same vein, a former Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Rasheed Akintunde, had in March 2017, expressed concern over the animals and the security challenges they pose to residents and road users.
NAN reports that most camels in the state are owned by people from Niger Republic who move into Nigeria for grazing.