The purported approval for the usage of firearms for the members of the Federal Road Safety Corps has been denied by the House of Representatives.
This was clarified at a press conference by the House Committee on FRSC, in Abuja on Monday
In a statement, the house committee said it only expressed concerns over the safety of members of the corps.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Mayowa Akonfolarin, said, “We want to start by debunking some insinuations made across social media. We were with the Federal Road Safety Corps for budget defence and in that meeting, it was clearly stated that as responsive representative, we owe it a duty to protect lives and properties on our roads. The Marshal made some reports concerning the harassment, molestations, killings of his corps officers and we responded as a committee; a committee that is very responsive and sensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
“We made it clear that we owe it a duty to ensure safety on our roads. The road safety people and road users are all Nigerians and it is our responsibility – it is an issue of two sides of a coin – that the personnel of the road safety must be protected. And we made it clear in that meeting that safety on our roads is a collective responsibility, including all of you here seated.
“We made reference to existing law, the Road Safety Establishment Act of 2007, and Section 19 made it very clear that those on essential duties, those exposed risks should be protected by way of giving arms to them where possible. We said a committee should be set up.
“We are not saying road safety should carry arm or not; what we are saying is (that) if you have a law, what should be done is to call for amendment. Once you have that amendment, there will be public hearing, at the hearing, the people will be able to make their contributions where necessary. We said as a committee, we need to form a body that will liaise with this commission, SGF, supervisory bodies, so that we can come together, brainstorm, and see what can be done, so that unnecessarily we don’t lose our men to hoodlums.”
The Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, had appeared before the committee on Thursday to defend the 2021 budget proposed by the FRSC, where he lamented the threats to officers of the corps.
At the meeting, the lawmakers suggested that members of the corps should bear arms to curtail the excesses of road users in the country.
Akinfolarin had noted that the 1992 Act of FRSC allowed the corps to bear arms but it had yet to be implemented.
The committee had planned to meet with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and write the President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as taking up the matter with the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.