BEVERLY HILLS, October 18, (THEWILL) – Members of the House of Representatives have stated that officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) should bear arms in order to effectively carry out their responsibilities of saving lives.
The House noted the increasing cases of violent attacks, harassment and intimidation of personnel and offices of the FRSC by motorists and hoodlums across the country, particularly in Zamfara, Jigawa, Abia and the Lagos States.
The members also noted that from 2015 to date, there have been 149 cases of attacks on personnel and 201 cases of damage to properties and equipment of the Commission.
This led to the passage of a motion by Hon. Solomon Maren titled: “Need to Curb Incessant Attacks on Personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)”.
Maren while moving the motion noted that despite Section 19 of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 which stipulates that ‘personnel of the Commission who are exposed to high risk in the enforcement of the provisions of this Act, shall have same powers, authorities and privileges, including power to bear arms, as are granted by law to members of the Nigeria Police Force, the Federal Government has not provided Road Safety officers with arms to enable them protect themselves in the course of performing their duties.’
He expressed concern that the United Nation’s Declaration on Reduction of Road Accidents by fifty (50) percent by year 2020 may not be achieved by Nigeria if the attacks are not urgently curbed.
The lawmaker argued that in order to avoid the attacks, Road Safety officers were fond of staying off the roads at night and that motorists are taking advantage of the situation to breach traffic regulations, which often lead to accidents.
“Officers sometimes discover offensive weapons in vehicles during routine operations on highways but are incapable of challenging occupants of such vehicles as they lack the capacity to protect themselves from any attack that could arise,” he said.
When he Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara called for a vote on the motion, it was passed without dissent.
The House subsequently mandated the Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission to investigate cases of attacks on personnel of the FRSC, ensure implementation of the resolution to give arms to the officials and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.