The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi, on Tuesday warned police officers and aggressive motorists to stop attacking road safety officers.
The Corps spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, stated in a statement that Mr. Oyeyemi condemned wanton assaults against road traffic marshals and threatened legal consequences for offenders.
The Corps Marshal said recent cases of attacks against FRSC officers were recorded in Abia, Jigawa and Oyo states.
A motorist also sped off with a female FRSC officer still inside his vehicle in the Federal Capital Territory last week, Mr. Oyeyemi said.
In Abia, Mr. Oyeyemi said police shot at two FRSC officers while on duty along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on July 15.
The police officers allegedly left the road safety personnel on the roadside “to die” after shooting at them, Mr. Oyeyemi said. The police officers were identified as security detail of Abia State House of Assembly Speaker.
He thanked other motorists for evacuating the injured road safety officers to the hospital.
In Jigawa, road transport union workers allegedly descended on road safety officers for attempting to book a motorist for overloading and speed limiter compliance along Kiyawa-Dutse Road.
At least one person was killed in the fracas, which occurred on July 14. Mr. Kazeem did not say whether the victim was a union member or a passer-by.
“Many road users are abusing the civility of the unarmed personnel that are trained to be cautious while discharging their legitimate duties.
“In the past, many FRSC operatives had been abducted, killed, assaulted, ran over, threatened and shot. It is also disheartening that some of the attackers misinformed the unsuspecting public by releasing manipulated information to gain public sympathy.
“Attempts are often made to make the aggressors looked like the victims,” Mr. Oyeyemi said.
He implored members of the police and other uniformed agencies to see the FRSC as a department that has the constitutional powers to enforce road safely regulations.
“Section 10 (4) of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 states categorically that members of the Corps shall have powers to arrest and prosecute persons reasonably suspected to have committed any traffic offence.
“Resistance based on ignorance of the law or impunity can no longer be grounds to attack operatives carrying out their lawful duties.
“We will definitely not abdicate our statutory responsibilities,” Mr. Oyeyemi said.