•As traffic agency celebrates International Youth Day in Lagos
The International Youth Day is a day celebrated worldwide to focus on the opportunities and challenges which come with the youth. For Africa and indeed Nigeria, youth constitutes about 50% of the population. Therefore adequate attention must be focused on them in order that they can reach their full potentials.
This formed the crux of the special event organised by the Federal Road Corps (FRSC) Lagos Sector Command in collaboration with International Initiative for the Advancement of SDGs in Africa (IIASDG) and Winstarbel Communications. The event in celebration of International Youth Day 2023 was sponsored by Lotus Bank, FMN (Flour Mills Nigeria) and STI (Sovereign Trust Insurance).
Tagged Road Safety Youth Hangout, the event drew a large segment of the youth population from various walks of life like tech, music, arts, entrepreneurship, and so on. National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report that the event also availed the traffic agency, FRSC the opportunity to unveil some celebrities who have voluntarily shown interest to become FRSC Celebrity Special Marshals. Notably at the event, movie maker, Femi Adebayo was unveiled as FRSC Celebrity Marshal at the event. The induction ceremony of the FRSC Celebrity Special Marshals is slated for a later date.
Speaking at the Youth Hangout, the Chief Host, FRSC Lagos Sector Commander, CC Babatunde Farinloye who was represented by ACC Esther Uzoma said: ‘Today’s program is very important because 70% of victims of road crashes are youths. So if there is anything that is taking away the life of our youths, we have to address it. We are talking about the impact of road crashes and what we need to do to avert calamity. Drinking and drug abuse are some of the things that distract our youths, the emergence of the phone is another distraction so they need to be informed so as not to get involved in road crashes.’
On the unveiling of celebrities whose induction ceremony will hold soon, CC Farinloye revealed: ‘Celebrity marshals are part of the FRSC Special Marshals and are those people who have volunteered their time to carry out road safety work with us. They are not paid like the regular marshals. They voluntarily key into this humanitarian work which is a work of saving lives.’
‘We can remember Dagrin if he was alive today, maybe he would have been a member of the FRSC celebrity marshals. Nobody is exempted from impact of road crashes so everyone is needed.’
When asked about what the agency is doing to curb the abuse of alcohol and drugs among drivers, ACC Uzoma told NAOSNP that ‘through the relationship of FRSC with NURTW, there is no motor park where they sell alcoholic beverages and they are complying with it. We also do public enlightenment every morning into motor parks that we call Early Morning Cry to tell them the problem that goes with drinking and driving’.
The Special Guest at the event, the Secretary to the State Government, Lagos, Mrs. Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin who was represented by Mrs. Omotayo Gbajabiamila noted that youths require orientation. ‘The youth should be more aware of their activities. They should not take drugs. They should limit their going out because when you are tired and you are driving, there can be accident. You should know that your future lies in your hands. All the things that will not make you succeed and live long, leave it.’
On other factors leading to road crashes, Salu-Hundeyin said ‘We have badly trained drivers, everybody just want to get on the road. Then many gadgets like tyres, brakes etc., people don’t check and they get easily distracted on the road. Some of our law enforcement officers do not have the right attitude to deal with situations so there is this impunity that people have. Adults should pay attention to their children as no child is too old for you to speak to.’
The guest speaker at the event, foremost life coach, Dr. Lanre Olusola advised youths on the importance of problem solving to life impact. ‘If you want to make money or leave a legacy in this world, solve problems. The problem you want to solve, tie it to the skills, knowledge, and the passion that you have. If you do, you will live a fulfilled life and prosperous life. When you know where you are going and have seen the picture of your desired future, then make the right decisions.’
‘As you live a selfless life, don’t forget that self-care is no. 1 thing that you need to stay alive. Take care of yourself’, NAOSNP gathered from Nigeria’s no. 1 life coach.
Influential movie maker and actor, Femi Adebayo who was unveiled as Celebrity Marshal at the event spoke briefly with NAOSNP. He said: ‘The Road Safety Youth Hangout is to awaken the awareness of our youths to be conscious of their lives. For me, this is an excellent event which I am excited about.’
‘The fact speak for itself. We have had cases of sudden death caused by the use of substances and we have seen so many celebrities that we love whose sudden death have happened by these harmful substances. We don’t want anyone to end their lives like that. So my advice to youth celebrities and youths in general is to avoid these substances especially when you will handle automobiles and other forms of communication’, Adebayo remarked.
To cap it all, Celebrities who performed at the event include comedian, Demolaismyname; musicians May D, Dresticks, Kholy Jay, among others. Music artist, Dresticks advised youths, ‘Safety first in everything. You have to fix your mind to stay alive. A lot of horrible situations can be avoided when we maintain safety first.’