The attention of the Federal Road Safety Corps has been drawn to a fabricated and fake statement credited to the Secretary to the Government of Katsina State Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, in a publication by one Agaju Madugba which was published in the Sun News of Tuesday, 24 March, 2021. The crux of the untruth, misinformation, misrepresentation of facts, and a collection of distorted report that the writer spewed to the public is that; the SSG bereted FRSC for outliving their relevance by abandoning the vision and mission of its founding fathers.
Fact is that the distortion presented that is already making the rounds in the media is a total caricature and falsification of the statement made by the SSG during a courtesy visit by the Katsina State Sector Commander, Corps Commander Ali Sule Tanimu to commiserate with him on the unfortunate fire incident that engulfed the central market, and further solicit for more patrol vehicles that will enhance patrol operations in the state.
In the course of the visit, the Sector Commander also briefed the SSG on the ongoing operation clamp down on rickety vehicles and the success so far recorded as well as suggested to the State Government to ban the use of J5 buses to convey people in the State, instead of goods which the vehicle isll originally designed to carry.
The Corps wishes to emphatically state that the SSG did not berate the FRSC in any way possible as purportedly reported in the Sun News, rather, he praised the Corps for standing tall from inception and admonished the Corps to intensify enforcement on some critical offences prevalent in the State.
For the avoidance of doubt, the highlight of the SSG’s statement during the visit that was later distorted is that he commended the operations of the Corps and stated that the FRSC has earned a lot of respect from the motoring public since inception. That he knows the corps is presently short of manpower and needs to employ more youths roaming the street so as to beef up its operational activities and strengthen its enforcement base.
However, the SSG also admonished the management of the Corps to intensify operations and enforcement on overloading of vehicles rather than deploying a huge operational muscle on arresting seat belt use violators.
He also opined that the Corps needs more fund in order to achieve its statutory mandate, he stated inter alia that; ‘I also think that the National Assembly should review the laws establishing the FRSC to see whether they can use a percentage of resources it generates through fines to fund aspects of its operations’.
From the positive submissions made by the SSG, the Corps expected the writer and the publisher to have directed their journalistic expertise into reporting the exact statements and intent of the speaker, rather than aim at, in a single publication, denting an image that took the Corps more than 3 decades to build. The Corps still wonders what the writer tends to achieve at the end of the day.
As a matter of fact, the Corps seeks to restate its commitment towards the realisation of its corporate mandate of eradicating road traffic crashes and creating a safer motoring environment in Nigeria and will not be deterred or discouraged in whatever manner from saving lives on Nigerian roads through continuous deployment of strategic initiatives that could eradicate every menace of road traffic crashes on Nigerian roads.
The Federal Road Safety is a highly dynamic, technology driven, responsible, ISO certified, and highly professional organization and pledges to remain so at all times. As such, wishes to state that it is still on course and working assiduously towards the realisation of its corporate mandate as evidenced in the drastic reduction in road traffic crashes and improved driving culture achieved through continual impactful public enlightenment campaigns of the Corps from inception to date.
On the strength of the foregoing, the Corps therefore wishes to reiterate the blazing truth that the allegations levelled against it in the distorted media publication are not true and can only be taken as false narratives deliberately orchestrated to portray the lead agency in road safety administration and traffic management in bad image as well as ridicule its tremendous achievements recorded in its 33 years of existence.
Consequently, the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, enjoins members of the public to disregard the falsehood inherent in the publication and the misinformation it has created in some sections of the social and mainstream media, groups and interests. He therefore uses this medium to appreciate the media for its watchdog role and further call on journalists to always endeavour to be objective in news reportage as subjectivism, no matter how negligible it is in news reporting, could go a long way in damaging institutional images built over the years with a great deal of sacrifice, dedication, commitment and patriotism.