By Mbaiorga Moses, Gboko
Nongu Kristu U I Ser Sha Tar (NKST) as can be transcribed in English as the Universal Reformed Christian Church (URCC), is known for boarding heavy duty trucks, while attending various national conferences. The reason is not far fetched from trying to reduce transport fare and other burden to the barest minimum.
However, the practice has been heavily criticized in recent times by many analysts for being a death trap as it has already sent dozens of Christians to their early graves. Needless to mention the untold hardship the surviving victims and the concerned authorities like the NKST Synod, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government at large have faced.
To curb this aforementioned ugly trend, the Governor Samuel Ortom led administration slammed an order which is paraphrased as ‘Don’t Use Lorries and Trucks To Transport People.’
The order was first pronouncement in 2018 by Governor Ortom after a truck transporting NKST Sunday School (MIM) members to a national conference held at Nan, a settlement in Vandeikya Local Government of the state had an accident where scores were alleged to had died while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
Thereafter, the NKST Synod which is the highest regulatory body of the church followed Ortom’s path by also raising a stop banner on trucks and lorries conveying passengers during her nation wide crusades.
This order was aimed at limiting incessant accidents which were suspected to occur as a result of overloading of goods and humans
Meanwhile, the order did not go well with some members of the NKST church as they dragged it to the mud by refusing to comply.
This was evident during the last NKST National Choir Conference held from November 26, 2020 to December 4, 2020 in Amaafu, Katsina-Ala Local Government and the ongoing MIM National Conference holding at Atukpo, all in Benue state.
The Voice observed that what was supposed to be a standing order has been swept under the rug as the major roads leading to Amaafu then and now to Atukpo were full of lorries and trucks transporting NKST members with their luggage.
Therefore, it has become very imperative for both the Benue state government and NKST Synod to ensure premium compliance is attached to the order.
The reasons for the aforementioned include: First, lorries and trucks are not originally and constructively meant to convey human beings but goods. Therefore, it is totally wrong to use them for people as the idea can be likened to using toilet as kitchen.
Secondary, it will help close the gap of multiple casualties in case of any ‘motor mishap’ or even accident. Do not get it twisted. No one is praying for an accident to occur to children of God, but no one can escape accident from occurring out of carelessness or in the name of attending Christian crusade.
Thirdly, it would prevent what happened to NKST members at Mbape in early 90s, Nailu Belle in 2006, Nan and Zaki-Biam in 2018 among others to repeat itself. There is a saying that “once bitten, twice shy,” therefore, NKST members have already been bitten, let them avoid re-occurrance forthwith.
Worthy of note is the fact that using buses to transport people can not eliminate road accidents completely. However, advantages of opting for buses are superb. They are faster, more secured and even if the accident occurs the number of casualties will be less and so on.
Yes! There is cost implication but it should be understood that these national conferences are always not impromptu, therefore, let those willing to attend start saving money ahead of time to avoid shortages when it’s time to take off.
After all, they have been travelling individually to far places through buses no matter the fare. They can do it during Christian conferences too. Let them also bear in mind that the best philosophy on earth is the protection of life; and that prevention is better than cure. A word is enough for the wise.
One good thing is that, curbing the menace is as easy as putting fire on gun powder. The NKST or government should simply set a task force team and place them at strategic routes and also at the venue of the convention or conference to note those coming by trucks and lorries. Thereafter fine them and their leaders heavily for breaching the state order, so that they would not do it again.
Finally, having food in the store does not in anyway spare one from hunger, except when it is being cooked and eaten. Therefore, the order though already in place, but failure to ensure it’s strict compliance amounts to no law. Therefore, Benue state government and NKST Synod should take it upon themselves to ensure the law is fully implemented and defaulters are not spared as what is worth doing is worth doing well.