Some weeks ago I was along Ikorodu road precisely around Obanikoro towards Maryland and the cab which I was in was travelling at a reasonable speed then all of a sudden it reduced its speed also the cars around, curious to find the reason for this sudden decrease in speed, I looked out of the window and I saw a lady that was hit and abandoned on the road, her body was seriously battered and she looked like she was dead and had been left for a while.
I was shocked with the fact that every vehicle kept maneuvering and avoiding the corpse and no one seemed bothered, immediately I dialed the Lagos state emergency number and the response I got was that they had already been told about the woman and they are working on it. I was really shocked because on this particular road just few blocks away from the site of this accident is a very big LASEMA Responds Unit [LRU] Base and its was obviously taking them so much time to get to the scene, this could be seen from the look of the corpse.
This made me ask about the value of a Nigerian life, how that the life of a common man is not important to the government, if it were important then emergency response in the country will be top notch. priority needs to be placed on emergency response in Nigeria, if what happened to the Thailand boys in the cave happens here in Nigeria I doubt if the level of response will be the same.
The people also need to have some level of understanding, sometime ago a video circulated online showing a fire truck trying to pass the Lekki Toll gate and in the middle of maneuvering cars and all, nothing was done to clear a path for the truck. The driver had to wait till his turn and this is very wrong, Ambulances are faced with the same plight, you find them dangerously maneuvering vehicles on the road and nothing is done to clear path for them.
Last I checked the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority is charged with Prompt and adequate response as well as sustained interventions in any form of emergency or disaster in the State. It is very detestable that things like this and so many unreported incidents are happening, people that had chances of living had in time past lost their lives due to response rate of the emergency units.
Sometimes you may encounter heavy gridlock on the road and may even be stuck for hours only to realize that a trailer fell on the road or an accident happened, the reponse time and the equipment’s available to the Response unit is what determines what time you get out of the gridlock. Just yesterday Motorists traveling out of Lagos were stranded on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway for hours today, due to a tanker trailer that caught fire beside it tires across the road. The incident affected the free flow of traffic.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who was on the route, reported that it took about six hours for motorists to move from Berger Bus Stop to Mowe, a distance of about five kilometers. The traffic started moving at Mowe long after the tanker trailer was cleared off the road around 1.30 pm, but by that time, a lot of travelers had been exhausted.
Six months ago The Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Seye Oladejo has said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the establishment of four additional LASEMA Response Units, LRU in four different divisions across the State, just as he disclosed that a new fire station will also be built at Ijegun area of the State.
For a state like lagos, relationship between LASEMA and all its stakeholders must be strengthened and solidified for the purpose of making the State a safe haven.
The various emergency responders at the event are officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, LASAMBUS, LASTMA, Rapid Response Squad, RRS, Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps, Nigerian Army, NURTW, State Environment and Health Monitoring, Red Cross. Others are LAGESC, LASEPA, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Agency, LNSA, LGAs/LCDAs Chairmen, LASWA, PHCN among others.
Beyond creating more LRU base in Lagos, where possible, Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) is something that stakeholders of emergency response should take critically. Actions foresee emergencies that are likely to occur and pre-plan key components of a response. Though plans will need to be revised if the event happens, preparedness makes it possible to respond faster, more appropriately and efficiently, and to make decisions on the basis of more reliable information.
Staff at every level is likely to respond more effectively if training, analysis, planning, pre-positioning, and information collection have occurred, coordination mechanisms have been established, and simulation exercises held.