The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says its 2020 ‘Operation Eagle Eye’ claimed 22 lives and caused injury to 88 others in crashes recorded across the 36 states and the FCT.
The exercise, usually conducted during the yuletide season, started Dec. 18, 2020 and ended Jan. 4, 2021, under the theme, ‘Towards an Emergency Free Yuletide’, was implemented jointly with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), as well as other stakeholders in emergency management.
Muhammed, who was represented by Air Cdr. Edward Adedokun, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said that the exercise provided an avenue for NEMA to complement efforts of the FRSC in minimizing road traffic crashes in the country.
“Our desire to prevent road traffic crashes and ensure prompt intervention on the highways, led to the flag-off of the 2020 Operation EAGLE EYE in the FCT and other States of the federation simultaneously in December 2020.
“There is the need, therefore, to evaluate the overall conduct of the operation with a view to proffering solutions to identified shortcomings”, he said, explaining that the 2020 campaign provided a platform for awareness creation, sensitization of road users and effective response to road emergencies.
“NEMA deployed 48 specialized vehicles, including the Mobile Intensive Care Ambulances, 431 personnel and volunteers for the operation nation-wide.
“The Agency, in collaboration with stakeholders, responded to 53 road emergencies across the Zonal, Territorial and Operation Offices (ZTOs) covering 84 routes. Unfortunately, 12 fatalities and 88 injuries were recorded by the agency on these routes.
“These unfortunate incidents on our roads once again bring to the fore the need for road users to be careful at all times and adhere to all safety measures,” he added.
Also speaking, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, added that the 2020 operation eagle eye exercise was a huge success, as fewer crashes were recorded compared to the previous year.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by Assistant Corps Marshal, Hyginus Omeje, added that although more casualties were recorded, they occurred as a result of the negative attitudes of road users.
In his presentation entitled ‘Challenges of Collaboration in Major Disaster Management’, Prof. Andrew Obafemi, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said that the successes recorded in the 2020 exercise should be used to plan for future exercises.
He highlighted the need for mutual understanding, trust, equal and unsuspicious access to funds, as well as reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks, as key to recording greater successes in the future.
He also appealed to Nigerians to use the power of Social Media as an effective tool in disaster response and management in the country.(NAN)