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Six Pupils Emerge Winners Of Lagos Road Friendly Competition
…"We need a nation of people who know their duties, rights under the law" - Fashola

Jul 28, 2011 - Eighteen finalists drawn from Primary Schools, Junior Secondary Schools and Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos State on Thursday slugged it out at the grand finale of the 2011 Be Road Friendly (BRF) Competition with the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) asserting that the children have demonstrated deep understanding of the safety challenges on the highways with their performance.

Governor Fashola who spoke at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, venue of the keenly contested event which produced six winners in the three categories and who won return tickets to London added that with the knowledge of the children on issues like street lights, sidewalks and zebra crossing, the objective of the competition has already been achieved and surpassed.

"In the future, we will be able to beat our chest that but for what we did between 2009 and 2011, in terms of road safety awareness, maybe we would not be able to sit down and reflect that if we had not started early, may be the battle would have been lost.

"It is gratifying that the bulk of the students are products of Lagos public secondary schools system. At their age, I could not do what they are doing today. When they reach my age, they will surpass what I am doing today", the Governor added.

Governor Fashola said the Be Road Friendly initiative is a project to empower young people very early in life to know what dangers and risks they could constitute to themselves and other road users by being reckless on the road, "We need a nation of people who know their rights and duties under the law and also know that if they act contrary they endanger themselves and others".

He described transportation as the cornerstone of modern civilization which has enormous impact on the quality of life that people live, adding that the progress which the State Government has made in public transportation is there for everyone to see.

The Governor reiterated his message to people who come to Lagos to do business that they must be law abiding, because if they choose not to, the law will track them, it will hunt them down and bring them to justice.

While saluting the members of the transport family like the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and partners like the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), the Governor said contrary to what people think , keeping traffic moving is a sheer miracle today.

"I salute you for all your efforts, I understand it and the challenge you face. It is not by prayers alone. It is happening through hours and hours of sheer hardwork, critical planning and investment in public transport infrastructure like street lights, motor vehicles, patrol vehicles, fuel, training, installation of street lights, lane marking and continuous training of LASTMA".

The Governor said as he speaks a total of 895 LASTMA men have just completed training on service delivery, courtesy on the road and efficiency at work, adding that another batch will soon go into training for better performance by the men.

Governor Fashola also acknowledged the collaboration of religious leaders across all the divides who have been assisting in mentoring the officers of LASTMA largely because of the conduct of some few officers which became an issue during the last elections, adding that the acts of a few was being used to paint the whole lot in tar.

He gave a commitment that Government will take the responsibility to always hear the other side and understand LASTMA because several times the men have been assaulted, abused and attacked in the course of their work.

While congratulating the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Transport Education, Dr Mariam Masha for the success of the advocacy programme, which has just been shortlisted for an international award, the Governor said the programme is the story of the success that comes out of Lagos time after time.

He said projects like the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has become a World Bank model for Public Transportation in Africa, just as the Security Trust Fund has been adopted as a United Nations model for crime prevention in urban setting, revealing that British Prime Minister who was in Lagos, recently was in the State to see its tax administration policy as part of his engagements in the country.

The Governor explained that given the odds that the State faces and the successes it is recording in public transportation, it is a sheer miracle that the State has achieved that much because the cities which it is compared with like Cairo, New York, London and Paris all have advanced means of transportation.

"They don't convey petrol on tankers by the road but on the rail. As long as the Federal Government cannot deliver rail line where millions of tonnes of goods from the ports can be moved will so many roads remain a challenge", he said.

Governor Fashola also explained that no other City State with a population as high as that of Lagos moves millions of tonnes of goods from the ports across the roads and still keeping the roads motorable and keeping traffic moving.

"It will be impossible to have pot hole free roads without an efficient rail system as it will continually shorten the lives of the roads", the Governor said.

The Lagos State helmsman also urged the LASTMA men and women to ensure at all times that they are firm but fair and very courteous to members of the public, adding that there uniform must not be used as an authority to brutalise people whose taxes are being used to pay their wages.

Earlier in his address, the Commissioner for Transportation, Hon Kayode Opeifa had said with successful organization of the programme, the State has once again proved that there is hope for the younger ones.

He added that after three years of the competition, it has surpassed the target set for it at its inception and has just been nominated as one of the entries to change the face of public transportation in the world.

Also speaking through video conferencing one of the Ambassadors of the Competition, Miss Maria Anifowoshe who is undergoing a course in the United States of America courtesy of the Schools Advocacy Programme commended the finalists for their efforts which saw them making it to the final stages of the competition.

She also gave kudos to the State Governor for his efforts in promoting School Advocacy programme which has enabled her to be chosen to attend a programme in the United States.

A cheque to cover an all expenses paid trip to London for the six winners made up of the first place winner and first runner up in each of the three categories was later presented to the Governor and the lucky pupils by the officials of Arik Air.

Governor Fashola was also decorated with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety lapel by a Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations called Safety Beyond Borders for his leadership role in promoting road safety awareness.

The winners are Primary school category- Master Adedunmoye Ayomide from Oluwalogbon Primary School, Ketu, second position and Master Oyinlola Alabi from Community Primary School, Mushin clinched first position. For the Junior Secondary school category -Paul Jonah from State Junior Secondary School, Alimosho took second position while Miss Ogunbayo Oluwabukola of Eva- Adelaja Junior Girls Secondary School, Bariga placed first while in the senior secondary category Miss Grace Adesina of Ansar-Ud- Deen Senior Grammar School, Okota was second while Miss Temiwunmi Akinmuleya of Queen College, Yaba placed first.

The ceremony was attended by members of the State Executive Council, traditional rulers, stakeholders in the road safety awareness sectors, pupils in primary and secondary schools in the State and their tutors.


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