The Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, has lamented the incessant attacks and molestation of operatives of the Federal Road Safety men on nations highways and vows to do all within his capacity to end the the humiliations.
Dr. Oyeyemi who was reacting to the recent unprovoked shooting of two of his men by the Nigeria police in Abia State and detention of another, noted that many road users are abusing the civility of the unarmed FRSC personnel that are trained to be cautious while discharging their legitimate duties.
“Many road users are abusing the civility of the unarmed personnel that are trained to be cautious while discharging their legitimate duties. In the past, many FRSC operatives had been abducted, killed, assaulted, ran over, threatened and shot.
It is also disheartening that some of the attackers misinformed the unsuspecting public by releasing manipulated information to gain public sympathy. Attempts are often made to make the aggressors look like the victims.” The corps marshal said the FRSC remains the nation’s lead agency on road traffic administration and safety management empowered to arrest and prosecute erring motorists. He added, “Section 10 (4) of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007, states categorically that members of the corps shall have powers to arrest and prosecute persons reasonably suspected to have committed any traffic offence.
Resistance based on ignorance of the law or impunity can no longer be grounds to attack operatives carrying out their lawful duties. We will definitely not abdicate our statutory responsibilities.” Oyeyemi regretted that this month alone FRSC operatives have been shot by the police in Abia, patrol van burnt in Jigawa state while another operative was almost strangled to death in Oyo State.
He explained. “While we commend the Abia State Police Commissioner for swiftly directing the arrest and orderly room trial of the Policemen who shot the FRSC staff at Aro Ngwa along the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway last Saturday, the Corps is deeply saddened by the shooting. It is also greatly concerned that the two young men were abandoned with their gun wounds by the Policemen attached to the wife of the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly who shot them.” The corps marshal also recalled the case in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where an investigating panel revealed that a patrol team flagged down a driver for routine checks.
When his car was to be impounded for running foul of traffic laws, a female staff was attached to the offender’s vehicle to accompany the vehicle to a nearby FRSC office for other necessary processes as contained in the operational procedure to be effected, the driver sped away with the female staff.
The case in Jigawa was also pathetic. An FRSC patrol team was carrying out its legitimate duties along the Kiyawa –Dutse road in Jigawa State when a team of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) officials challenged the team for daring to check vehicles for excessive overloading and installation of the Speed Limiting Devices. They not only set the FRSC patrol vehicle ablaze but also badly damaged another vehicle.
The FRSC office was also destroyed by the rampaging NURTW officials. The Jigawa incident resulted i n fatality as one person was killed and several others injured. It will also be recalled that an FRSC personnel in Oluyole Unit Command, Oyo State was almost strangled to death by a driver who was accosted for contravening traffic laws.