The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has disclosed that the commission has lost no fewer than 35 officials (regular marshals) who were killed by motorists on highways across the country in the past one year while on official duties.
FRSC Niger State Sector Commander, Susan Ajenge, while speaking on the floor of the State House of Assembly, said the commission has lost seven marshals from the state adding that the development occurred when the staff were trying to enforce simple safety regulations.
The state legislature had summoned the Commander to defend the series of criticism by the public against FRSC over allegations of officials intimidating and harassing motorists in its desperate move to generate revenue for government.
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The members had argued among others that the FRSC should station itself along highways to check carnage caused due to over-speeding, use of worn-out tyres and cars unfit for highways, drunk drivers and reckless driving.
Instead of devoting time to protecting lives and property along major inter-and intra-state highways, the legislators said they were disappointed that the FRSC had restricted itself to becoming another ‘Tax Master’ of the Federal Government.
Defending the commission, Ajenge lamented that rather than obey simple traffic rules, motorists would turn around to criticise and attack FRSC officials.
Ajenge says another staff recently knocked down by a driver while trying to clear obstruction on the highway, was lying critically in a hospital and had gone through two operations and might lose his manhood.
Earlier this month, an FRSC official was reportedly attacked by a mob in Mararaba, on the Mararaba-Nyanya Expressway, Niger state after an escaping motorist knocked down a pedestrian.
After deliberations on the floor of the House, Hon. Ahmed Marafa, the Speaker, challenged the Sector Commander to focus more on safety along highways in addition to enlightening citizens on the commission’s operational goals.