by ‘Jola Sotubo
Two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) are said to have been injured after a clash with policemen in Abuja.
One of the FRSC officers was shot while the other had been hit on the head with a gun by an angry police officer at the Wuse Zone 2 area of the Federal Capital Territory.
The trouble was said to have started when the police officers demanded that the road safety officials vacate their duty post due as President Goodluck Jonathan passes through that route.
The FRSC officers were, however, said to have insisted on remaining at their duty post.
In the ensuing melee, an official of the FRSC was shot while another was injured.
An eyewitness told LEADERSHIP Weekend that trouble started when officials of the FRSC were ordered by the police to leave their duty post around the Central Area where President Jonathan’s convoy always pass to the presidential villa from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
It was gathered that the policemen and FRSC officials of the FRSC were mobilised to the area ahead of the president’s convoy from the airport.
The alleged refusal of the FRSC officials to leave the area which they claimed to be their duty post to ensure traffic flow angered the policemen who were led by a divisional police officer (DPO).
The angry policemen allegedly seized the Hilux van belonging to the FRSC and arrested its occupants.
But other officials of the FRSC who got wind of the news blocked the road at the intersection of Sultan Abubakar Way and Olusegun Obasanjo Way at Wuse Zone 2 insisting that their officials and vehicle be released by the policemen.
“As they were arguing, a senior police officer used his gun to hit an officer of the FRSC on the head and another policeman started shooting into the air and suddenly I saw one official of FRSC down. That is when we started running for our lives,” the eyewitness told LEADERSHIP Weekend.
Another eyewitness said the police shot the official four times. “They came from Bolingo Hotel area where the president usually passes from the airport and started shouting at the FRSC men who barricaded the road with their trucks and then shot one of the FRSC men four times but I don’t know if he is still alive, he said”.
At the scene of the clash, officials of FRSC were seen taking the victims to hospital while men of the Nigeria police wearing bullet-proof vests were leaving the area.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the operation was carried out by men of the Abuja Crimes Control Squad 44 (ACCOS 44).
Attempt to speak to the most senior officer of FRSC at the scene yielded no result as he declined to comment on the matter. One of the FRSC officials later said that since the appointment of the new FCT police commissioner, Femi Ogunbayode, a directive was given to the FRSC by the police to leave the streets of Abuja for the highways outside the Federal Capital City for their operations.
The police high command refused to respond to enquiries by our correspondent on the matter.