The governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufai, has expressed regret over the misunderstanding arising from media reports that gave the impressions he banned the operations of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kaduna, saying he lacks such powers.
The governor added that from his personal and official relationship with the leaders and personnel of the FRSC, he had no cause to conceive such idea, noting that he had related well with the Corps since his first outing in public service.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Mr. El-Rufai made these clarifications while receiving the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, who was at the Government House Kaduna as part of his partnership drive.
The governor particularly commended the maturity exhibited by the leadership of the Corps within the period of confusion, saying such display of high maturity is necessary for inter-governmental relations and peaceful coexistence among people and governments.
He described the reports that he banned the operations of the FRSC in the state as unnecessary promotion of negativity, stressing that even by legal persuasions, the state government lacks the powers to ban a Federal Government agency operating legally in the state.
“I would like to put my personal apology for some of the reporting that emanated from the meeting of the State Security Council which were taken out of context o connote the banning of the FRSC from the state,” the governor said.
Acknowledging the powers of the FRSC to operate both on federal and state roads, the governor noted that what was agreed at the State Security Council meeting was the need to fully utilise members of the State Traffic Management Agency who were recently inaugurated for urban traffic management, while the FRSC concentrates its operations on the highways.
“Let me say it clearly that we value the additions that the FRSC make to the socio-economic development of the state and would work hard to sustain such collaboration,” the governor said.
He described the relationship between the FRSC and the Kaduna State Traffic Management Agency (KASTMA) as complementary and not competitive, saying the state is prepared to partner with the FRSC to train its staff for improved service delivery, especially with the plans to increase the strength of KASTMA this year.
The governor however frowned at the activities of some bad eggs in the system who must be properly disciplined to serve as deterrence to others, noting that he had been inundated with complaints by some residents who point to such negative practices that could undermine the integrity of the Corps and derail the desired efficiency in traffic management in the state.
“We look forward to working with you and would continue to cooperate and collaborate with you in the areas of safety, security and effective traffic management in the state,” Mr. El-Rufai said.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal commended the governor for his sustained support for road safety in the country, recalling instances when the governor threw his weight behind measures that could lead to safety and security of the people.
He promised to sustain the existing collaboration for greater good of the people of the state, stressing that the management of the FRSC was pleased with the manner the Governor clarified the purported order banning the operations of the FRSC in the state.
Mr. Oyeyemi further noted that as part of the FRSC’s sustained relationship with the state, there had been several areas of joint operations between the FRSC and the state government which yielded positive results.
He added that in the same tradition, FRSC had plans to establish eight additional outposts and four ambulance points to strengthen safety and security along the Kaduna- Abuja road sequel to the impending closure of the Abuja airport and diversion of air traffic to Kaduna airport.
He also disclosed that six of the eight outposts would be established within Kaduna State and appealed to the state government for more support towards the realization of the goals. The two leaders also agreed on a joint operation against the menace of overloading which had become a source of concern to the people of the state.
As part of the Corps Marshal’s activities in the state, he visited some of the offices earmarked as FRSC’s offices and ambulance points located along and within the Kaduna airport.
While at the proposed FRSC Airport outpost complex and ambulance point, the Corps Marshal expressed satisfaction with the level of repairs carried out on the building and assured of the readiness of the Corps to commence immediate operations, giving assurances of the possibility of the outpost being upgraded to a full- fledged unit command in future.
In a related development, the Corps Marshal has promised a major reorganisation at the Kaduna State Sector Command. He disclosed this while addressing staff of the Sector Command, saying negative reports of activities of some of the staff made the impending reorganisation most imperative.
He warned that those that identified as perpetual law breakers to realise that their days in the Corps were numbered, as they would not be spared of the full wrath of the law in the ongoing process.
Mr. Oyeyemi stressed that it was his management’s initiative that states with traffic management agencies should be supported by the FRSC to handle urban traffic while the Corps concentrates on highways.
He recalled that towards this, he has been encouraging state governments to set up their own state traffic management agency of which 16 had so far established theirs.
“And when I held a consultative meeting with the heads of these agencies in Abuja last year, I appreciated their Governors for the initiatives and pledged my support to them in terms of training and joint operations. So, we are not competing with them; rather, we are strengthening them to facilitate our own mandate,” he said.
The corps marshal consequently vowed that henceforth, he would not tolerate report of any patrol teams parking anywhere within townships in the name of patrol, except where an offender who commits traffic offence was stopped for citation.
“In such a situation as soon as such an offender is booked, the patrol team should continue without mounting any form of check point in the city centre, which would not be condoned,” Mr. Oyeyemi stressed.