The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, announced on Friday that 70 operatives of the commission were killed by reckless drivers this year.
Mr. Oyeyemi, who made the announcement in Abuja at the FRSC end of the year management strategy session, said that the FRSC officials were killed performing their jobs.
He said that although the figure was lower, compared to the 160 deaths recorded last year, the trend was disturbing and needed to be addressed.
Mr. Oyeyemi said the FRSC had declared war on reckless drivers because such drivers were responsible for about 40 per cent of deaths of officials of the FRSC in active duty.
“I have been raising this alarm since last year that we are experiencing increase in violence among drivers and lawlessness.
“Losing 70 personnel is not a joke, may their souls rest in peace.
“It is sad to note that some killing and maiming of operatives, including those from sister agencies is very worrisome.
“A recent occurrence was the happening in Talata Mafara in Zamfara, where a motorist ran into the mobile court in session killing three operatives almost instantly, including a civil defence operative.
“The occurrence is no doubt ironic and a sad commentary on road safety in Nigeria; but must we give up on our country and abdicate leadership to mediocrity?’’
Mr. Oyeyemi said, however, that the government was working to address the problem.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the problem and that the issue was being looked into, noting that reckless drivers would always be made to face the wrath of the law.
He said also that as at the end of week 47 of this year, 4,005 deaths were recorded from 7,657 vehicle crashes nationwide.
The corps marshal said that as at last September, the company had achieved 77.19 per cent crash reduction while 83.33 per cent level was attained in fatality rate reduction.
The corps marshal said that 99 workers of the company had been punished for indiscipline that entailed extortion and helping motorists to evade arrest.
He said further that 66 workers, comprising 10 officers and 56 marshals were sacked while 33 had their ranks reduced because of cases of indiscipline.
Babachir Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, who was represented by Bamgbose Olukunle, Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs in the Office of the SGF, reiterated government’s commitment to road safety.
Mr. Lawal said that although there were challenges in the country in terms of road administration, plans were on to address the issues.
He said that government had approved the recruitment of more than 4,000 people to meet the set goals of the FRSC in service delivery.
Abubakar Yunusa, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Road Safety, said the FRSC Act was currently undergoing amendment.
Mr. Yunusa said the bill on the amendment had been sent to the Nigerian Law Reforms Commission for further contributions.
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