It is common in Nigeria to attribute car crashes to the work of witches and demons, senior staffers at that country’s Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC ) have told the News Agency of Nigeria.
In an article titled “Don’t blame witches for road crashes—FRSC,” Sector Commander of the corps in Imo, Joseph Aremu, said that “most road crashes on Nigerian roads” are attributable to “human factors and not witchcraft as believed by some people in the country.”
Aremu said that “contrary to belief by some Nigerians that road crashes was a manipulation of witches, major causes of most auto crashes were over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and bad tyres.”
The commander said that the corps in Imo were doing everything possible to ensure that road users stick to traffic rule, adding that the command will go tough on traffic offenders.
This is not the first time that a senior civil servant in Nigeria has had to take to the media to try and dispel this widespread belief among Nigerians that motor accidents are the result of witchcraft.
In November 2017, the Corps Marshal, or head, of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, “absolved demons of responsibility for the high rate of road traffic accidents during ember months.”
“Nigerians must be aware that frequent cases of road crashes during this period, particularly the ember months are unconnected to demonic activities,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria.
Oyeyemi said driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs was largely responsible for the recorded cases of accidents.
* The “ember months” in Nigeria are the months of September, October, November and December. This apparently comes from the Christian liturgical “ember days” which are supposed to be set aside for fasting and prayer.
However, as the Nigerian The Pointer news service as revealed, the “ember months” in that country “come with evil foreboding . . . road mishaps, banks and internet frauds, armed robbery and other criminal activities are usually in the ascendancy during this period . . . Experts’ explanation for the high rate of crime and accidents recorded during this period has to do with the frenzy and obsession to end the year on a note of grandeur and financially well-oiled celebration(s).”