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Nigerians decry ‘violent’ enforcement of traffic regulations in South South

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo with agency report
02 August 2022   |   2:42 am
South South stakeholders have condemned the violent conduct of some police and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) personnel, as well as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) in enforcing traffic regulations.

[FILES] Scene of an accident PHOTO: NAN

FRSC deplores rising auto crashes, deaths in A’Ibom

South South stakeholders have condemned the violent conduct of some police and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) personnel, as well as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) in enforcing traffic regulations.

Respondents, who expressed their displeasure in a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the bullying officials extorted money from road users.

They added that personnel deployed dubious means to exploit motorists in the zone, urging their withdrawal and discontinuation of the sharp practices.

The concerned Nigerians said the violent acts had at times resulted in road crashes, some of which were fatal.

One of the respondents, Emeka Obi, a businessman, told NAN in Calabar that some policemen, VIOs and FRSC officials were in the habit of stopping vehicles and carrying out unnecessary checks on them.

He lamented that while on duty, such officials would stop some motorists to check their car wipers, trafficators, licences and seat belt usage, with the sole intention of exploiting them.

Another citizen, Mrs. Esther Oti, said the police were now doing the job of FRSC by checking for the expiry date of driver’s licences and car particulars, wondering why a police officer would be asking her for a fire extinguisher and spare tyre.

Oti called on the government to take a critical look at the “unlawful activities” of the VIOs and others with a view to containing them.

A truck driver in Eleme, Rivers, Emmanuel Mba, said FRSC officers on the East-West Road went as far as barricading the highway for alleged extortion.

He said the act had led to avoidable road crashes involving trucks laden with petroleum products.

Residents of Benin City also expressed displeasure with the uncivilised manner some road traffic enforcement personnel dealt with motorists in Edo State.

A civil servant, Henry Onovweghware, said the use of force by most policemen, FRSC officials, VIOs and Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) officers in enforcing traffic rules was wrong and should be discontinued.

Another inhabitant, Dr Bright Oniovokukor, said violent enforcement of traffic rules and regulations was a violation of human right.

Similarly, a journalist, Michael Egbejule, called for the removal of officers with violent behaviour from road traffic enforcement duties.

He said officers should be civilised, as their duty is to protect motorists and ensure the safety of lives on the road.

In Asaba, Okechukwu Onumonu, said some traffic law enforcers should be more civil instead of bullying motorists and extorting them.

A civil servant in Yenagoa, Samson Agu, said the way some traffic regulators behaved in Bayelsa, was most undesirable.

IN a related development, the Akwa Ibom command of the FRSC has deplored the incessant road crashes and deaths in the state.

In a statement in Uyo, the Sector Commander, Matthew Olonisaye, cautioned against reckless driving, noting that the state recorded 55 crashes and 24 fatalities in seven months.

He said the incidents recorded between January and July were higher compared to the 43 crashes and 16 deaths posted for the corresponding period of 2021.

Olonisaye urged motorists and road users to always obey traffic signs and rules for their safety.