By Mahmoud Dogara (Bauchi State Correspondent)

As part of efforts to ensure a hitch-free celebration of the Yuletide season, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Zone 12 comprising of Bauchi, Yobe and the Borno States, has said it has deployed no fewer than 1,300 Officers and Men for the effective conduct of the operation.

The Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone 12, Assistant Corp Marshal Rotimi Adeleye, stated this on Sunday while speaking to journalists at the FRSC Zonal Headquarters in Bauchi.

He said that the Corp has launched an Operation for the Yuletide called "Operation Zero" programme as directed by the National Headquarters which started on 15th December to 15th January, adding that it is an annual programme that the FRSC engages, to ensure effective monitoring during the Yuletide.

"This is aimed principally at reducing road traffic crashes. And this time around, we'll have to enforce the compliance of COVID-19 protocols as it relates to road transport and we have to also ensure that there is prompt response to road traffic crashes of victims.

"We'll also embark on the removal of obstructions from the highway in order to ensure a free flow of traffic. We are conscious of the fact that the location of the market tends to move towards the highway and we are having discussions with the leaders to ensure that markets are moved off the highway for a free flow of traffic"

"We have cancelled leave of all our personnel, every staff of the Corp is expected to be on the ground in his station and there is no further issuance of leave or pass. They will be on the ground and will be fully utilized. Within the Bauchi environment alone, we are deploying close to 450 personnel for this exercise. When you move down to Yobe State, we are deploying all the units that are there, so we also have close to 450 while in Borno, we about 400 personnel"

"In this area, there is need for us to be security conscious, all our Officers and Men have been fully briefed on how best to work so that we will not find anyone wanting," he said

He said that the FRSC zero tolerance for corruption among its operatives is still in force, pointing out that any of its officers and men who are caught extorting motorists particularly during the Yuletide will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

According to him, the Corp has collaborated with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute any operative found wanting even as he called on the public to help in fishing out these bad eggs.

"It is not only during this period alone, all along in the Corp, but there has also been a zero-tolerance for corruption. From the National level of the Corp, there is an understanding between the ICPC, the DSS and the Corp. All the FRSC staff are aware that any operative that falls into the hands of the DSS and ICPC is on his own and they (DSS and ICPC) don't even tell us"

"We also have our own internal control within the system whether it is the zone or the Sector Commands. We have an office called "intelligence", where the team does not even wear our uniform and they have been given all the powers to go out at will, to observe the operational ethics of our officers and men, and write reports. Anybody apprehended in the process is dealt with according to the law"

"Recently, the Bauchi Sector Command launched a Feedback Mechanism. The command constructed boxes and placed them in strategic positions at motor parks, where the public come and give us feedback on our operatives. This is to ensure that we take care of all the corrective measures and we clear the bad eggs among us" Adeleye said

He said that all the Special Marshals in the zone will be engaged and will be stationed at strategic locations for absolute traffic control. NNL.