The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to procure arms and ammunitions for Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) so as to protect its personnel in line of duty.
This followed a motion by Rep. Bulus Maren (Plateau-PDP) on the “need to curb incessant attacks on personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission”.
Maren expressed concern over rampant violent attacks, harassment and intimidation of personnel and offices of FRSC by highly-placed individuals, motorists and hoodlums across the country.
He said that the development was particularly in Zamfara, Jigawa, Abia and Lagos State.
The lawmaker said that from 2015 to date, there had been 149 cases of attacks on personnel and 201 cases of damage to properties and equipment of the commission.
He pointed out that Section 19 of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 provided that one of the powers, authorities and privileges of the commission’s personnel was to bear arms.
Maren expressed concern that the United Nation’s Declaration on Reduction of Road Accidents by 50 per cent by year 2020 may not be achieved by Nigeria if the attacks were not urgently curbed.
He said that in order to avoid the attacks, “Road Safety officers should stay off the roads, particularly at night, as 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 capacity to protect themselves from any attack that could arise.”
Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) said since it was an issue of law, which had to be obeyed, adding that the FRSC officers on legitimate duty needed to be protected.