The Ember Months Rhyme

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GratefulMuyiwa Opese is my friend and brother. Muyiwa works with one of the multinationals where safety is key. He first caught my attention when I noticed his strict adherence to the use of child restraint for his new born baby. Even the wife exemplifies the same safety consciousness whenever she is driving especially with her baby properly strapped at the rear. The opese family are for me the ideal road safety family.

I was therefore not shocked when he sent me an interesting message on speed which I find amusing because of the truth contained in the message. When driving the following speed limits, don’t forget these hymns; at a speed of 60km/h,it is well with my soul, at 80km/h God will take care of me; at 100km/h guide me o’thou oh great redeemer; at 120km/h,nearer my God to thee, at 140km/h this world is not my own, at 160km/h Lord I am coming home, at 180km/h Jerusalem t’orun,at 200km/h ao a pade leti odo and at 220km/h ija dopin ogun ti tan.

These rhymes will certainly speak to the conscience of both Christians and Muslims because there are provisions in both the Holy Bible and Holy Koran that emphasises the need for us to take actions that promotes life and not death. Whenever I ponder over the bad driving habits by some motorists and the spate of avoidable road traffic crashes deaths and injuries, three scriptures from the Holy book pops up in my mind .

The first and second are taken from the books of Deuteronomy and Ecclesiastes; Both scriptures emphasises God concern and His urge to see us live and not die; According to Deuteronomy 30:19, I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.KJV.Therefore,choose life that both thou and thy seed may live. Proverbs 18:21 says, the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (NIV) the third is Ecclesiastes 7:17, Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish. Why shouldest thou die before thy time.

According to my cleric officer called Abdul-Aziz, there are provisions of the Holy Koran on the power of the tongue as contained in chapter 48:11 which says; they say with their tongues what is not in their hearts.Say.who can avail you anything against God, if he desires loss for you, or desires gain for you? The same Holy Koran in chapter 87:14-17 says; you prefer the life of this world, the life after is better for you and the more lasting, and in chapter 50; 20, it says, it is we who control life and death and to us is the destination. Despite these powerful Godly and Fatherly worry, a handful of motorists drive with a death wish on their mind.If you call them suicide driven motorists or maniac on the wheels, you won’t be wrong. These motorists drive as if they have a special immunity or what in our parlance; we call jazz or juju which promises false protection in the event of a crash. I have chosen to guide such motorists on the best way to hit the ground and depopulate the driving population and meet their maker

I hate bad, reckless, irresponsible and suicide driven divers who forget that 90percent of deaths recorded globally and in Nigeria affect people aged 15-44years .This category, according to WHO account for 48percent of global road traffic deaths. The WHO report equally notes that from a young age, males are more likely to be involved with about three quarters (73%) of all traffic deaths occurring among men. It further notes that among young drivers, young males under the age of 25 are almost 3times as likely to be killed in a car crash as young females. . They equally forget that the World Health Organisation (WHO), is worried that one million deaths occur on the world’s road annually with over 50 million injuries sustained through avoidable road traffic crashes.

The figure says WHO, is worse in the sub- Saharan Africa which although accounts for four percent of world vehicle, accounts for over sixty percent of global crashes. According to The Global status report on road safety 2013 from 182 countries, accounting for almost 99% of the world’s population, including Nigeria, road traffic deaths remains 1.24 million per year. As at 2014,the figure stands at 1.3million. Only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. Nigeria through the activities of the Federal Road Safety Corps is among these countries.