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We’re not abetting rice smugglers – FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Badagry-Seme Command, says its officers are not abetting rice smuggling into the country as being speculated in some quarters.

The Unit Commander, Mr Fatai Bakare, made the clarification, on Thursday, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry, Lagos State.

According to Bakare, the operations of FRSC commences by 6.00a.m and ends by 6.00p.m, except when we are on special patrol which extends to 10.00p.m.

“This special operation is restricted to the metropolis and not outside the metropolis because we are not armed.

“You don’t expect us to be in a secluded point when we are not armed.

“You don’t expect our staffers to be in a secluded point around 1.00a.m when bad boys, armed to the teeth move around,” he said.

Bakare said that FRSC officials were not trained to arrest smugglers who usually move at night in high speed with sophisticated weapons.

“If you look at the operations of smugglers, you will notice that they move in the night and in a convoy.

“They are very reckless when they move, ready to kill. They are armed with assorted weapons like swords, cutlasses, charms and at times gun.

“How can you expect a non-armed organisation to arrest such vehicles and people?

“There are several attacks by the smugglers and other agencies which led to death.

“Have we not been seeing obituaries in the dailies of some people from different agencies that are killed by the smugglers despite the fact that they are armed?

“So, what do you think will happen if our staffers make attempts to arrest them?

“We only restricted our programme to enlightenment; we go to Churches, Mosques, market places, palaces and motor parks.

“We use these media to pass our information across since we do not have the stamina to confront them on the road,” he said.

The unit commander urged the public to expose FRSC staffers engaging in extortion of motorists.

“We are operating a transparent organisation, right from the gate of the command, on the patrol cars, numbers of the Corps Marshalls are boldly written on them.

“My number is also boldly written in the wall of this command, the essence is for people to call whenever they are in distress or when they notice something that is abnormal going on.

“Just pick the name of the officer involved and get him reported. We don’t take returns in FRSC,” he said. (NAN)