Commercial drivers and private vehicle owners in Kaduna State have decried the activities of officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in most parts of the state, describing them as extortionists.
The motorists, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said it was appalling that after struggling to buy fuel and maintain their vehicles, road safety officials would intercept and extort money from them on account of one offence or the other.
According to them, even when all the particulars and other requirements are complete, they still asked or looked for a fault in order to detain the vehicle for the driver to part with some of his day’s earning.
However, there are still those who believe the road safety officials are doing their best in terms of accident reduction and sanity on the roads
When contacted, the Former State Corp Commander, Olumide Olagunju, said he was aware of such misconduct about some of his men, but stressed that officers, who were caught in the act of extortion and other corrupt behaviours, had been made to face disciplinary actions.
On whether his men have the right to check motorists on local government and state roads, the corps commander said his men had powers to operate at all the streets and road in Kaduna.
Although accusations such as this had always been meted to other security agencies like the Police, Customs and others, it is expected that the road safety authorities should take the allegations very seriously by ensuring that all corrupt officers are punished accordingly, while at the same time making traffic offenders face the law.
Amongst its functions according to the code that established the Federal Road Safety Corp was; traffic law enforcement and patrols on the highways, clearing of obstructions and providing assistance to stranded road users on journeys, aggressive and coordinated public education, awareness and enlightenment on friendly use of the roads, by motorists and other road users as well as rescue operations and providing first aid to accident victims on the road.