I tried getting in touch with you through your email address at my disposal and also through firstname.lastname@example.org, but it seems as if I am not getting through to you. Because of this, I am compelled by circumstance to write this open letter to you, which I believe you will read and take prompt action to maintain the integrity of the commission.
I have encountered some Federal Road Safety Commission personnel with high level of integrity, but some are out to drag the name of the commission in the mud.
As teacher in the Department of Computer Science, many officers of your commission have passed through me, and as I write this open letter to you condemning the attitude of some of your officers, if I have collected any form of bribe from any of them, such a person should come out and prove me wrong. Similarly, any student or graduate of University of Abuja whom I have collected any form of bribe in whatever name it may be termed for the past twenty (20) years, should come out and say so. As such, I am opposed to giving and taking bribe from any person or group.
It is regrettable that the Federal Road Safety Commission established in February 1988 through Decree No. 45 of 1988 and charged with the mandate of ensuring safety administration and management along all Nigeria highways has been infiltrated by corrupt officials who have brought bad name to the commission. Rather than these officers being on the highways for safety of travelers along the road, they now concentrate inside towns where their stock in trade is extortion of unsuspecting members of the public.
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Few Sundays ago, precisely on 03/11/2019, I encountered an officer in the person of Mr. Abdulalahi Salau who stopped me by Gwagwalada Post Office Junction on my way to the church at about 9am. When I was stopped, the officers on duty asked for my vehicle particulars, which I presented to them. After going through the vehicle particulars and observing that all the particulars are up to date, they again asked for my drivers’ license. I gave them the photocopy since I was not with the original license.
According to them, I do not have the right to drive a vehicle without original Drivers’ license, not photocopy as was the case. To my greatest surprise, these corrupt officials started listing my offenses as follow:
1. Driving with photocopy of a Drivers’ License
2. Driving without original Drivers’ License
3. Expired Fire Extinguisher
4. Worn out spare tyre
5. Asking my son to open the vehicle booth for them to check the spare tyre instead of coming down myself, etc
They said the list of my offenses is endless and as such if I am not ready to settle, my vehicle would be impounded. I opted for the vehicle to be impounded. Instead of booking me on the spot where I was stopped, the Deputy Route Commander, who is the ‘masquerade’, behind the corruption charge, who led the operation asked one of the officers to enter my vehicle so that they can take me to their Gwagwalada office. As I was driving to their office, the commander ordered the operational vehicle, Innoson Carrier driver to drive behind me. All of them, including the Deputy Route Commander abandoned their duty post so that I could be booked in their Gwagwalada office. It is possible that your modus operandi has changed, whereby officers only book offenders only in your office, instead of the usual on the spot booking.
When we got to your Gwagwalada office, I was booked. All these while, members of my family were inside the vehicle. Your corrupt officers prevented me and my family members from attending a church service.
On booking me in your office, I expected that they were going to tick all the offences they listed against me above, but they only ticked worn out tyre or without spare tyre against my offence.
It is a good thing that serious enlightenment campaign be mounted for such corrupt Road Safety officers and their cohorts who have brought bad name to the commission and the general public should be made to know when there is any change in your modus operandi.
I expect that this corrupt Deputy Route Commander be brought to book so as serve as deterrent to other corrupt officers and those intending to be corrupt in the commission.
Professor Okike Benjamin,
Department of Computer Science,
University of Abuja, Nigeria
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