In reaction to speculation making waves in Nigeria, Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) will not be bearing arms according to the House of Representatives.
The clarification was made by the House of Representatives Committee overseeing the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) on Monday after it denied reports that it has mandated Marshals of the commission to start carrying arms in accordance with the law establishing it.
Addressing Assembly Correspondents, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Akinfolarin Samuel Mayowa said there was no time the Committee said FRSC officials should, or should not bear arms, pointing out that what the committee decided was to set up a committee to liaise with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other stakeholders in the possible implementation of the Act establishing the commission.
Hon Mayowa said the Corp Marshal had complained to them about the harassment of his men on the road which sometimes end up with some of them being killed on the road and sought for collaboration from the House on ways to ensure safety on the road.
According to him, “we made it clear that as representatives of the people, we owe it a duty to ensure safety on the road for both road users and FRSC officials because these people are also Nigerians. We also made it clear that safety on the road is a collective responsibility.
“We made reference to the 2007 Act establishing the FRSC, especially section 19 which allow those exposed to danger can bear arms and we said that a committee will be set up to liaise with them and other stakeholders. We did not say they should start bearing arms.
“There is an existing law and if you don’t like the law or sections of the law, the right thing to do is to move for an amendment to the law. When that is done, it will go through the normal legislative process.
“So, we don’t want to lose our men unnecessarily because these are also Nigerians. Initially, we wanted to refrain from responding to this issue, but from the way the issue is going, we had to respond and put the records straight.
“Yes, the existing law said if they are exposed to danger, they can bear arms. We don’t even have the money to run the agency effectively. So, how can we be talking about buying arms for them now? Our concern is safety on the road and not whether they should bear arms of not”.
Hon. Mayowa was however evasive on whether his committee will support officials of the FRSC to start carrying arms and whether the provisions of the existing law should be implemented or amended.