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There's no plan to arm road marshals now – FRSC

By The Citizen
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The Federal Road Safety Corps has denied claims that its personnel will begin to carry arms to protect themselves against attacks by errant and violent motorists while on duty.

There were reports on Friday credited to the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, indicating that the Federal Government had given approval to the corps to allow its personnel to bear arms following an increase in violent attacks of its operatives during patrol.

This generated uproar among the people as the issue dominated discussion in the public sphere throughout the weekend.

But the FRSC said on Monday that there was no iota of truth in the reports that it had distributed arms to its personnel and urged members of the public to disregard what it called a rumour.

It also said in the statement issued by its Head of Media Relations and Strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, that the road marshals were not about to bear arms.

It stated that the corps marshal 'was misquoted when he decried the number of his personnel that had been killed by errant motorists avoiding arrests,' which he said would have been avoided if the marshals were to bear arms.

It said even though the FRSC operatives had been undergoing regular arms training at different intervals from 1992, the corps had no plans to arm them as part of their patrol operations.

It also stated that it had never been the priority of the corps under the leadership of the past and present corps marshals to implement the provisions of the amended FRSC Establishment Act of 2007, which permitted road traffic managers to bear arms like other security/para-military agencies.

The FRSC said, 'It was pictures of officials of the corps that had undergone arms training that the same mediums misquoting the corps marshal are using to support the claim that the corps now bears arms.'

It quoted Oyeyemi as urging all motorists to obey traffic regulations and desist from harming operatives of the corps whom he said were only out to prevent road crashes.

Over 70 personnel of the FRSC road were killed in 2016 as a result of violent attacks by motorists on road marshals in the course of duty on highways.