By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Wednesday sensitised catholic priests of Kaduna Arch Diocese on safe driving, in furtherance of the corps’ public enlightenment campaign to ensure safety on Nigeran roads.
The FRSC Officials was led by the Zonal Corps Commander, Mr Ayobami Omiyale, for the sensitisation campaign conducted during the Diocesan Priests meeting at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Karji, Kaduna.
Omiyale explained that the sensitisation was part of the corps’ advocacy to religious leaders in Churches and Mosques to enlist their support in creating the needed awareness on safe driving among worshipers.
He said that the core mandate of the FRSC was to ensure safety of lives and property of road users through public enlightenment, research and enforcement of traffic rules among others.
He advised the priests to drive cautiously and defensively and anticipate what other drivers were likely to do while on the road.
“This is the catholic church aspect of our advocacy visits and you will agree with me that there is no better forum to reach out to the priests than the meeting of all the Reverence Fathers in Kaduna Arch Diocese.
“The goal is to familiarise ourselves with the priests, pass the safety message for them to help us take the messages to all their members as a prelude to our visit to the individual churches in the state.
“But first, the priests must be educated on how to be good road users before they can pass the message to their respective church members,” he added.
The zonal commander further said: “The FRSC is leveraging on the influence of the catholic priests as leaders of thousands of people, and once the priest has spoken, the people take the messages to heart.
“It is not an FRSC officer that is talking to them or a patrol team flagging drivers down to arrest them for one traffic offence or the other; it is a priest, a spiritual father that is talking to his people.
“It is our belief that they will listen and obey, and in the long run, sanity will return to our roads.
“Our next point of call will be to the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Ja’amatul Nasril Islam, so as to reach all facet of worshippers in the state.
“If it is only one word that the Imam, catholic priest or a pastor will say about road safety during Jumaat prayer or Church worship, it will go a long way.
“Because that is what will be ringing in the minds of the people when they are driving”.
Omiyale also extended invitation to the priests to join the corps’ Special Marshall with a view to strengthening FRSC’s public enlightenment and traffic rules enforcement.
Also speaking, the Acting Sector Commander, Kaduna Sector Command, Salisu Galadunci, who spoke on the topic, “Tyre: Your Guarantee to the Next Point”, stressed that hot season is associated with tyre bust.
Galadunci therefore urged the priests to take necessary to ensure that the tyres of their vehicles were road worthy so as to stay alive.
Galadanchi particularly advised them to avoid the use of expired or worn out tyres, over-inflated or under-inflated tyres and take other necessary precautionary measures.
“People listen to religious leaders which makes them our strong partners in our public enlightenment campaigns,” he added.
The Chairman, Council of Priests of the Arch Diocese, Rev. Father Raymon Nandem, thanked the FRSC for taking time to enlighten them on safe driving skills and measures needed to ensure accident free journey.
Nandem assured the FRSC officials of the Priests’ interest to join the FRSC special marshall to contribute their quota in ending road accidents, and save lives.