How siren blaring VIPs harass, intimidate, kill innocent road users on Nigerian highways

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has condemned the abuse and illegal use of sirens by “Very important Peoples” in Nigeria.

He observed that on a daily basis, on Nigerian roads, in many major cities, ordinary citizens face threats of harassment, intimidation, vandalism, brutality and even death in the hands of supposed public servants and other prominent Nigerians who used escorts and blaring sirens on Nigerian roads.

Onuesoke, who made the condemnation in Warri, Delta state said people have noted with great dismay the regrettable and serious abuse of privilege in recent times by VIP convoys misusing sirens , stressing that the siren-blaring convoys force oncoming vehicles to either stop or clear off the road in a manner that exposes law-abiding road users to hazards.

He pointed out that sirens are essentially designed to be used in an emergency, but noted that in Nigeria, mostly in Delta state, sirens are used to harass, intimidate and sometimes inflict avoidable injuries that could sometimes be fatal on road users and innocent members of the public.

“ Road users and pedestrians, particularly school children, are daily under constant harassment from the wailing sirens of governors, ministers, senators, police chiefs, customs bosses, immigration comptrollers, traditional rulers, clerics and sometimes even local government chairmen,” he observed.

He added that all these officials along with other prominent figures, including state and federal lawmakers, wealthy businessmen and flamboyant religious leaders illegally deploy the use of siren blaring convoys when they move around either in major cities or while traveling around the country.

He noted that most of the public officials who use sirens on Nigerian roads, terrorizing innocent citizens, actually do so illegally.

The PDP chieftain argued that section 154 of the National Road Traffic Regulation, NRTR, 2012, Part XIV states: “No person other than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Vice President, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Deputy President of the Senate, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors and Deputy Governors of States shall drive a vehicle on any public road using sirens, flashers or beacon lights.”

In order to be restore sanity in Nigeria roads, Onuesoke appealed to law enforcement agencies to execute the law by rebuking those going against the law of illegal use of siren.

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