Given the severity of security issues across the nation, the Federal Road Safety Corps claims that its employees must carry firearms while doing their jobs.
This was announced by the Corps Marshal, Mr. Dauda Biu, on Saturday during the inauguration of 1,762 corps members who had recently finished a four-month basic training course at the Nigerian Army Training Centre in Kontagora, Niger.
The measure, according to Biu, who was represented by Deputy Corps Marshal Shehu Zaki, would offer proper safety for the personnel who are frequently attacked while on the job by some road users or suspected criminals who take advantage of the country’s security issues.
“It is left to the political leaders to arm the FRSC, but what we do know is that the issue of the FRSC bearing arms has been on our status since 1992.
“What we are still waiting for is for us to be given the go-ahead to start using arms.
“Right now, looking at the level of insecurity in the country, it is not out of place for the FRSC to start using arms to enable us to protect ourselves when the need arises,” Biu said.
He, however, urged the cadet officers, cadet marshal assistants and road marshal assistants to be dedicated to their duties towards bringing glory to the corps and the nation.
The corps marshal urged the personnel to be patriotic and exhibit the highest level of discipline, honour, integrity, accountability, transparency, courtesy, confidentiality, decency, loyalty and team spirit in discharging their duties to ensure success.
Biu said, “As we tackle the challenges of nation-building and sustainable development in a complex operational environment, where you will soon face reality.
“It has therefore become imperative that I sound a very strong caution which is aimed at protecting and preserving your lives in the cause of discharging your duties objectively.
“You must constantly abide by the regulations which guide the work ethics as you carry out your constitutional roles.
“Without this, you will be doing a lot of damage to yourself, the corps and the nation as a whole.*
He thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja for approving the use of the training facility and also commended the army trainers for their contribution in ensuring a successful exercise.
Earlier, the Camp Commander, Mr. Yakubu Muhammad, said that among the commissioned personnel were 204 cadet Officers, 402 cadet marshal inspectors and 1,156 road marshal assistants.
Muhammad said that during the four-month training, the cadets and other trainees were trained in road safety management, physical drills and regimental ethics.
He also said that the corps recently introduced martial arts into the training to enable its personnel to defend themselves in the course of duty when the need arose.
“This is because we have not been authorised to carry firearms, so we should be able to defend ourselves when the need arise,” Muhammad said.
Additionally, Cadet Chime Martin, the General Parade Commander, who spoke on behalf of the commissioned cadets and others, pledged to use the knowledge gained to establish a safe driving environment in the nation.