The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday decried incessant attacks on its personnel and operational tools in the wake of the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country.
Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, spoke on Friday in Abuja, noting that the Corps commands and operatives in some part of the country had been attacked following the #EndSARS protest.
He said that the Corps had suffered a lot of damage since the protest began, adding that some of the operational vehicles and tools of operations had been destroyed in some part of the country.
He said that the Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi had directed that all formations be placed on alert to avert further attack on its personnel, saying the directive became imperative going by the increased threats and escalation of violence.
Kazeem added that the directives were given for the reduction of the visibility of the corps through scaling down of enforcement.
“On Oct 8, 2020, the Nigerian Youth started a nationwide protest against alleged police brutality with the Code name #ENDSARS.
“The protest which enjoyed relative social media campaigns and mobilisation posed both virtual and physical threat to the operations and general activities of FRSC.
“The FRSC experienced both virtual and physical attacks in the course of the civil unrest.
“Owing to the nationwide intelligence monitoring exercise of the corps and the tracking of online posts by protesters and social media organisation sympathetic to the #EndSARS campaigns, indications deepened on the vulnerability of FRSC formations.
“Some of the placards displayed by the protesters pointed to the corps among other agencies as likely target in the course of the unrest.
“Those threats through the social media were not taken for granted hence, the scaling down of enforcement and commencement of daily security guide by the Corps Marshal to field commands,” he said.
Kazeem said that upon the escalation of violence upon the country, FRSC formations came under physical attacks resulting in the burning down of offices.
This he said, includes Operational and other vehicles, damaging of sundry structures and massive looting of valuables of FRSC formations including Drivers license Centres (DLCs).
He, however, noted that no life of any staff had been lost adding that a staff sustained an injury at Benin toll gate unit command and was currently receiving treatment.
He said that the states affected were Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Imo, Lagos and Enugu saying that items and properties were stolen while some were burnt.
“Some of the items stolen and burnt in Aba South DLC were computers, printers, chairs, tables, Air conditioners, laptops, files, fans among others.
“Anambra DLC was completely vandalised. Delta State command operation base was affected. Auchi command 70-ton tow truck was burnt.
“Imo, Lagos and Enugu were also among the states affected during this Protest, ” he added.
Kazeem said that the Corps would, however, continue to respond to road traffic crashes and other emergencies as this was the mandate of the Corps while reiterating commitment to working for maintenance of national peace and security.
“In case of any emergency, do not hesitate to call the FRSC Toll free numbers 122 or the National Traffic Radio on 0805 299 8090,’’ he said.
The Corps Public Education Officer urged youths to put an end to the protest which he noted had been hijacked by hoodlums to engage in an inter-rival gang war and looting with impunity.
He also advised youth against ventilating their anger by vandalising government’s critical infrastructure, notwithstanding the provocation, frustrations and incitement.