Rep. Ibrahim Isiaka (APC-Ogun) has urged Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and all relevant agencies to immediately commence closure of open manholes in the territory to prevent further accidents.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Isiaka said that almost on a daily basis, Nigerians keep falling into the holes and sustaining various degrees of injuries which was not supposed to be.
A manhole is a small covered opening in a paved area allowing access beneath, especially one leading to a sewer.
According to the lawmaker, we do not have to wait until a minister or a governor or senator or somebody highly placed falls into the hole for it to become a big deal and attract attention.
Isiaka, who is representing Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency said that he had tried in vain to persuade some government officials to do the needful, hence his decisin to bring it up on the floor of the house as an Urgent Motion of Public Importance.
He said that safety must be taken serious in all sectors saying that it was so unfortunate in government work that safety was so relegated to the background and nobody talked about it.
“I want to appeal to all relevant government agencies and officials so responsible to take action and cover all these manholes.
“There are other hazards, controllable and uncontrollable but this is controllable either by putting caution tapes, safety nets, barricade so that the public can be aware not to come near; once the consciousness in there, nobody will become a victim.
“This will serve until the final solution which is putting back the covers of the holes; let it be such that it cannot be easily stolen by tack-welding the metals at two or more points,’’ he said.
Isiaka who is the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Governmental Affairs, said that if the covers were tack-welded, it would take any thief two to three hours to remove either with a hark saw or a burning touch to remove it.
He said by so doing, the heavy metal which was often stolen and sold as scrap for peanuts by hoodlums would be secured.
The legislator challenged security agencies to up their games in the protection of lives and property and wake up to their responsibility and arrest, parade and prosecute those behind the crime.
The parliamentarian called on the general public to be vigilant and raise alarm when somebody was seen trying to remove manhole covers.
Isiaka said that while government was trying to improve on the economy and create more jobs, hunger should not be a reason to resort to crime in the land for that reason, do not do things that would endanger the public.