The House of Representatives has denied giving the approval to carry and use firearms by members of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
The House Committee on FRSC, issued a statement on Monday, 9 November, at a press conference saying it only expressed concerns over the safety of members of the corps.
On Thursday, 5 November, the Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, in his appearance before the committee to defend the 2021 budget proposed by the FRSC, lamented the threats to officers of the corps.
At the budget proposal, the lawmakers suggested that FRSC be allowed to bear arms and Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin, chairman of the committee had noted that the 1992 Act of FRSC allowed the corps to bear arms but it had yet to be implemented.
The committee had made plans to visit with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha over the issue, and write the President Muhammadu Buhari. They also planned to take up the matter with the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Mr. Akinfolarin on Monday 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 a 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.”