The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Monday urged Nigerians – in a statement of denial – to disregard information claiming that the agency had begun distribution of firearms to its officials.
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Speaking to Premium Times, the Commission stated that the rumour was being disseminated by mischievous elements looking to foment disorder in the society.
According to the FRSC Head of Media Relations, Bisi Kazeem, some mischievious elements took a recent statement of the Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, out of context to suit their agenda.
He said: “The Corps Marshal was lamenting the recent findings that 70 marshals lost their lives this year alone to some outlawed motorists.”
“He then stated that such a high number of losses could have been avoided if FRSC personnel were carrying arms as allowed by the law.
“But he quickly added that there is no immediate plan to implement the law allowing officials to carry arms.”
“It’s unfortunate that some wicked people now took that to mean that he said officials are now being armed,” he said. “It’s a figment of their imagination.”
The disclaimer is coming after the social media was overwhelmed with reports on the development between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
A twitter user had circulated a picture that depicted road safety officials being drilled by the Nigerian Army on how to handle firearms.
However, Mr. Kazeem said the picture was dug out from trainings that took place years ago to make it seem as if it’s part of a purported new arrangement to arm officials.
“We’ve been undergoing such trainings on regular intervals since 1992 when Ibrahim Babangida was in office,” Mr. Kazeem said. “But we have never put the exercise in general practice of our operation and we have no plans of implementing it in the nearest future.”