The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the Federal Road Safety Commission’s training proposal for the convoy drivers of state governors, ministers, heads of government agencies, and permanent secretaries, in a bid to halt increasing rate of auto accidents involving VIP convoys. The interest in solving the problem of accidents involving convoys of notable Nigerians, which are estimated to have killed about 26 persons and injured many more in the last three years, is laudable.
Ironically, many governors and other public figures are alleged to have extended a cold welcome to the FRSC training scheme.
Nonetheless, FRSC in its proposal said many of the VIP drivers suffer sight impairments and have poor driving skills, stressing that the training programme is aimed at ensuring that the drivers are mentally and physically fit to drive their principals.
While the FRSC initiative is commendable, it must be pointed out that a major problem with the drivers of important personalities in Nigeria – and by extension, a major cause of the accidents – is reckless driving honed through an elite culture of impunity. So in training the drivers, FRSC must also give their principals a lesson on how to behave properly and be seen to be doing so.
––– Vincent Obia