Asking the Nigerian Federal Road Safety Corps to start bearing arms is a way of exposing them to more danger. They’ll become targets to all criminals, including armed robbers.
One wonders what volume of brains the propagators of this idea in the nation’s national assembly have got. I am sure they are a little bit bigger than that of my chickens (hopefully). We are in trouble, if they are not.
I feel sorry for the FRSC personnel. They do a sterling job up and down the country. And then you get some idiots of politicians, who want to make their lives more difficult, by suggesting they are armed. And the same politicians and their hangers-on are the worst perpetrators of traffic violation, thereby, setting precedence for everybody to do it.
Let politicians try obeying the traffic laws. Let them set an example. Like everybody else, wait in a queue. Get to know the traffic signs and what they mean in different colours. RED normally means stop, not: “I don’t care; I am going through with SIREN”. Only God can announce His coming. And you are not God.
Economically, procuring arms for the Corps personnel it does not make sense. The nation’s major problem has been lack of infrastructure. Had there been security and speed cameras across the country and highways, jobs of law enforcement agencies would have been made easier, as it is in Europe. There would have been no need for FRSC personnel or the police for that matter to chase after traffic law breakers.
I can understand that the armed contractors suddenly found an avenue to start making money, become weapons’ suppliers to the FRSC. Sorry, that’s not going to happen.
What FRSC personnel need at the moment are cameras. As it is in the United kingdom, procure for them vehicle mounted and hand held speed cameras to capture number plates of motorists, who refuse to stop whenever they are stopped. Also, let every FRSC official on highway duty have chest mounted camera to capture faces of drivers stopped.
This will simply serve as deterrent to all motorists, including those with criminal tendencies. It means, when a motorist is waved down by FRSC officials and he or she refuses to stop, a fine or prosecution letter can be sent to the vehicle’s registered address, which is on the Corps’ data base. With the said cameras, the officials on duty could remain courteous and civil. When all motorists understand the effectiveness of the cameras, believe me, even interstate commercial bus operators, most of who are very disobedient to traffic laws, would either start obeying the laws or look for something else to do, if they can.
National assembly recommendation makes no sense. Why do they think British police prefer not to bear arms? They know they are safer without them. And compared with costs of arms and ammunitions as well as the danger the bearers of the arms are exposed to, it costs far less to simply acquire body cameras, handheld cameras and vehicle mounted cameras for the nation’s FRSC personnel.
If Nigerian law makers love the nation’s road safety Corps that much, they should demonstrate it by passing a law slicing two-third off their fat salaries and allowances (which is the fattest in the world) to subsidise the costs of acquiring cameras for the corps’ personnel. After all, do they want the FRSC to be moving targets? Just paint a target on their chests and be done with it.
They are doing a dangerous job!!! Make it easier for them. Or has someone got an arms factory they want to keep in business?
MATILDA FRANCES is Editorial Director, Motoring World International