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OPINION: The need to sanitize FRSC in Cross River

Cross River State Sector Commandant of the FRSC, Mr. Chidiebere Benjamin Nkwonta Esq.

By Kris Ejue and Davidson Etika

Federal Road Safety Corps is a federal government agency saddled with the responsibility to assess vehicle that ply the roads to ascertain their level of worthiness as well as to ensure drivers or vehicle owners have drivers license and those whose license had expired renewed accordingly.

Over the years, FRSC have been very instrumental for the reduction of accident cases in our federal highways and other motorable routes. Indeed, there is need to accord them desired accolades as regards to their doggedness in carrying out their delegated responsibilities.

Some of their officers have been up and doing, they have contributed their quota for national development as well as nation building.

There is a rising concern that emanated from FRSC quarters that appears grey, but needs rapt attention. It appears many fellows had experienced this comatose and the issue have not been address properly, some of their officers are operating contrary to accommodative or conventional modules of operation.

As we all know, the media is the voice of the people. They are the watchdog of the society. There is a saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. This proverbial statement is a truism.

In communication parlance, it is fondly said, " you cannot communicate" which means, either you communicate or perish. Therefore, it is our duty to set a pace. When illegality attempt to trial or erupt, the press barricades such oppressive tendencies because it is against societal norms and it is the duty of journalists to unravel the truths and uncover any form of ills.

There have been hanky panky business going on amongst the men and officers of Nigeria Road Safety Corps which is tantamount to rancor and is capable of jeopardizing the hard earn reputation of the commission before the public.

It takes many years to build reputation, but it takes just one day or a second to spoil what you had built and prevented over a linger period.

It is ludicrous to observe that injustice and highhandedness prevails more within the commission and her staff. One could imagine the number of people that had been treated unfairly by some of their officers.

For instance, the case of one Mr. Henry Egbelo is a lucid example of marginalization and injustice. The scenario transpired in Cross River State with FRSC Team led by TN Olodo which has ignited this article to be scribbled to unravel some of these excesses to public domain and perhaps to drag the attention of the authorities concern to check these inhuman and unprofessional act to save the commission's image.

Every organization has image to secure, be it trivial or full fledged conglomerate. The commission's image is at stake if this lukewarmness allow to thrive, something need to be done to sanitize the system. There is wishy washy business transpiring amidst men and the officers of the commission. Some unscrupulous elements should be properly checked to curtail these excesses otherwise it might skyrocket to something else.

Mr. Egbelo number plate was issued by road safety corps after doing the needful, he paid the expected amount but he was issued a number plate made of inferior material that is below the standard.  It was however gathered that, few months later, some numbers in his number plate had began to wipe off. One day while driving along Odukpani Calabar highway, the same road safety officer (TN Olodo, led Team) stopped him and asked him why is his number plate worn off? He replied and he said, he doesn't know but it is you who issued the number plate to me some months back. His explanations were not satisfactory enough, they went further to apprehend him and immediately charged him to mobile court for prosecution.

There were two lawyers on ground who prosecuted him, the judge found him guilty. While the second lawyer said they should free him that he has not seen any offense in the case.

Going by the truth, Mr. Egbelo didn't violates any law, the verdict of the second lawyer who said Mr. Egbelo was not guilty that they should free him was appropriate, but the judge insisted he should pay #8000 naira before he would be vindicated. Does the eight thousand naira covers the faded number plate? Or would Mr. Egbelo not be apprehended some day for faded number plate? Or was there immediate replacement? Our reports gathered that no immediate replacement was made, it was a total aloofness.

The truth of the matter is, it is quite awful when you are compelled to pay what you ought not to pay simply because of one person or some fellows who has refused to tow the right part.

Mr. Egbelo would have been freed without paying a kobo if the lawyers had given fair judgment. Though one actually did but the other stood his ground.

Few days ago, FRSC just passed out the newly recruited officers to join the existing ones in furtherance of their mission of strengthening the commission's efforts to ensure compliance from motorists and to boil-down incessant cases of road crashes in our highways. There is need for proper indoctrination and reorientation to ensure that the bad eggs doesn't contracts the good ones, and more imperatively, the commission's image doesn't drag to the mould because of some officer's standoffishness.

Number plate issued by the FRSC doesn't have an expiring date hence drivers should not be apprehended for fade number plate, if they need to do so, they should ensure they scrutinize properly and the needful is done accordingly, rather than collecting money for something that can't be accounted for.
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