By Bisi Kazeem
When Dr Boboye Oyeyemi was appointed Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) six years ago, precisely on 24th July 2014, by President Goodluck Jonathan, he attested to his qualitative contributions to the development of the Corps which was established 26 years earlier as the nation’s road safety lead agency.
Reputed as the last man standing out of the pioneering staff that oversaw the foundation of the FRSC, Oyeyemi had served in all the major departments and zonal commands of the Corps prior to his appointment into the exalted office.
From whatever perspective you choose to look at him, Dr. Oyeyemi is a voyage in the transportation industry with a touch of class; one of the most outstanding professionals whose efficiency, knowledge, diligence and professionalism has become another definition of standard in transport.
Men of unique achievement are celebrated anywhere in the world, and when their values are appreciated they are not only spurred to do more, but also encouraged to inspire the younger generation.
A believer in success who goes the stretch to achieve it, the Corps Marshal has no specific closing time, and works from the house when he should be sleeping or relaxing. In this way, many have perceived him a workaholic, but in his words, “failure is an orphan that nobody wants to associate with”.
With his humility always coming to the fore, when asked about his meteoric rise to the position of the Corps Marshal in a system that until his regime had never appointed the head of the agency from the inside, he constantly attributes this to the making of the Almighty God.
The trajectory of his career as a road safety pioneer member from the day of the agency’s conception till this present date is the very factor that has shaped him as an all-rounder in road safety management and administration with a firm and fair handling of goal-oriented affairs as the Corps Marshal of the FRSC today. Little wonder he assumed the office as someone in familiar terrain, thus hitting the ground running.
The first action he took was to streamline his vision through the tripod of Consultation, Reward and Punishment (CRP). Through this, stakeholders’ collaboration for improved relationship necessary for smooth enforcement was enhanced, while hardworking staff were regularly rewarded, yearly promotion exercise to address the challenges of backlog was instituted. Meanwhile those staff that engage in acts of indiscipline including corrupt practices are being tried in accordance with the FRSC disciplinary codes.
Having stated the vision that would guide the course of action under his administration, the Corps Marshal with his management team formulated and implemented programmes of action that led to the advancement of the Corps in all ramifications. Being a pioneer staff himself whose career took off at a point when road traffic crashes was bedeviling human existence with fatality rate amounting to over 40,000 in Nigeria, making the country rank second only to Ethiopia among nations with the most dangerous roads to drive on; the Corps Marshal immediately set up an initiative to drastically reduce the worrisome rate of road mishaps occasioned by recklessness on the road.
He set the ball rolling by introducing policies, reforms and digitalization that have produced a sophisticated fleet system, through the Road Transport Safety Standardization Scheme to regulate and coordinate the fleet operation in the country and strengthened Driving School Standardization Programme.
The following are not limited to the achievements recorded from 2014 to date: the Corps under his leadership has continually trended down road crashes and fatality rates on yearly bases; the signage plants in Gwagwalada, Awka and for road furniture were established within the space of 2014 till date, under his leadership; the Corps set up an initiative to curb the rate of road crashes occasioned by articulated vehicles in a programme titled, “Safe to Load”; rapid expansion of Commands through creation of Outposts, more Unit Commands, additional Drivers Licence Centres, and Ambulance points were established under the leadership of the Corps Marshal; the Corps established a National Road Safety Advisory Council (NaRSAC) which is directly under the Office of the Vice President with a Secretariat at the FRSC National Headquarters.
The FRSC partnered other West African Countries to replicate the Corps’ experience in the sub-region and to establish a road safety agency in those places, an instance is that of Sierra Leone Government who sent representatives to understudy the Corps and request that the Corps send its operatives to help their government grow a road safety agency.
He has, within the period, initiated various measures aimed at trending down the rate and fatalities in road traffic crashes particularly with the introduction of the speed limiting devices in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, the numbers of outposts and ambulance points were increased under his leadership to reduce FRSC’s response time to emergencies while making the services of the Corps accessible to the motoring public for freer and safer roads. The Corps Marshal has also strengthened inter-agency cooperation which relevant stakeholders such as the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), and Banks in Nigeria with evident success in interagency collaboration and harmonization of data for national development. Concerned with crashes involving government drivers, Oyeyemi vigorously pursued the programme of training of Federal Government drivers across MDAs as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR in 2016.
In pursuit of aggressive public enlightenment programme, the FRSC Management under him established the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM in October, 2019 as a medium for educating mass members of the public on traffic matters and updating them of road conditions across the country.
In furtherance of the strategic partnership between the FRSC and tanker drivers to curb incessant cases of tanker crashes across the country, the FRSC Management under Oyeyemi initiated the programme of recertification nationwide to ensure training and retraining of the drivers with the same training extended to mechanics as well as vulcanizers to teach them on the inflation and deflation of tyres.
Towards ensuring a happier and more productive post service life for staff, the Oyeyemi-led Management unveiled project 20,000 staff Housing Scheme to make house ownership easier for all staff of the Corps while the Board of FRSC Post-Service Scheme (PSS) to help members of the Corps save for retirement before the retirement benefit/pension are paid.
According to some insiders who expressed their views on the six years under Corps Marshal Oyeyemi, FRSC has earned notable recognitions and achievements including The Best MDA in Nation-building, e-Governance, 2015; Excellence in Humanitarian Service Award in Nigeria, 2015; Service Delivery Award as one of the Outstanding Public Institutions in Nigeria by Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), 2014-2015.
Concerned with the need for conducive working environment for staff of the Corps across the country, Oyeyemi’s Management has so far constructed and inaugurated 14 permanent structures in various Sector commands, with other two awaiting inauguration.
Meanwhile, massive infrastructural development is ongoing at the FRSC Academy Udi, Enugu State, where clinic, administrative block, information and communication centre, multi-purpose hall and lecture hall were recently inaugurated by the representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who was assisted by some governors of South Eastern states including the host governor, Chief Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In order to ensure that the health and welfare of the entire workforce is substantially improved, the Corps Marshal initiated and completed the establishment of Road Safety Officers’ Wives Association Health Centre, Kuchikau, Nasarawa State as well as Staff Cooperative Clinic, Lokogoma, FCT.
In furtherance of his commitment to the social life of the personnel, the Corps Marshal inaugurated for the first time, the FRSC Retired Officers Association.
As most staff of the Corps have attested, the FRSC in the last six years under Boboye Oyeyemi has gained momentum and is prepared to sustain the tempo in facing the challenges of increased motorization in the COVID-19 era.
- Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem, fsi, is the Corps Public Education Officer.
Buhari rests in London, Nigeria boils by Tunde Odesola
(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, April 12, 2021)
As a herdsman, ‘yowwa’ is the likeliest gratifying word to escape from the tight-lipped Nigerian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) if his cows nuzzle their muzzles against him as they eat hay from his outstretched hands during a random visit to his herd.
And as a devout Muslim, ‘Auzubillahi!’ is the likeliest word the President would utter if a dog mistakenly snuggles up against his ankle; Islam forbids human-dog embrace.
Aside from the religious injunction, however, the 78-year-old northern leader is unlikely to prefer the dog to the cow. Quite unlike the slow, witless and clumsy cow, the dog is a very intelligent, friendly, sensitive and witty creature. Universally, the dog is seen as man’s best friend, not the cow. Notwithstanding all these attributes, President Buhari’s preference will still be for the cow, not the dog, any day, anytime – for ancestral reasons.
The age-long ‘yes-sir!’ military mentality that upholds loyalty to superiors over patriotism to Nigeria, predisposes Buhari, a veteran soldier, to choosing the pliant cow over the witty dog.
Surely, the flunkey ‘yes-sir’ mentality is the reason why the Nigerian military, police, DSS and other security agencies put Buhari far above the country and the Constitution, and would shoot at innocent youths at Lekki tollgate even when such an order is in clear breach of the rules of engagement and the Constitution.
Indeed, the distinction between sycophancy and patriotism was what saved the US when subversive forces rose against its democracy on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol as the judiciary, the legislature, the military and all other institutions of government stood in defence of the American Constitution over the shenanigans of former President Donald Trump and his cohorts.
The understanding of the distinction between racism and patriotism is what is currently playing out in the trial of the white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of African-American George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sending him to an early grave in Minneapolis city of Minnesota, USA.
Chauvin’s ongoing public trial, which commenced on March 29, 2021, displays the unquestionable ability of the American nation to reinvent itself when faced with challenges.
For the average Nigerian like me, it beggars belief to think that serving and retired Nigerian police officers would enter the witness box and vehemently condemn one of their own as it’s being done in the trial of Chauvin, who faces up to 40 years in prison if the second degree murder charge, which presupposes that he didn’t intentionally kill Floyd, is upheld.
Since public hearings on police killings and brutality opened in various states of the Nigerian federation, following the #Endsars nationwide protests last year, no ex-security officer or serving security officer has come out to condemn army-police extrajudicial killings.
Public officials’ arrogant misuse of state power against the citizenry is one of the reasons for the overwhelming call for the restructuring of the country.
The monumental failure of the Buhari-led regime in tackling insecurity, corruption, nepotism, poverty, ethnicity and government insensitivity is the fuel to the agitation for the break-up of the federation.
Arrogant, insensitive and utterly reckless, the All Progressives Congress-led Presidency, in 2019, released the picture of Buhari picking his teeth, probably after drinking some (nunu) milk from his cows – while the citizenry groaned under the weight of unemployment, lack and dejection. Only our I-don’t-care President would pick his teeth after drinking milk.
Commenting on the tooth-picking picture, presidential aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, displayed the characteristic arrogance and insensitivity of the Buhari regime when he said in a tweet, “It’s hard to understand why some people are genuinely angry because of this innocent pic. When I innocently snapped it on Feb 27 and posted (it) on my Snapchat, it didn’t occur to me that it’s going to give wailers that strong hit…”
As Nigerians have been gnashing their teeth since the beginning in 2015, so shall it be till the end in 2023. Nothing will stop the plunge. Buhari is on an eight-year vacation.
Displaying his nonchalance to public outcry for the umpteenth time, Buhari, on march 30, 2021, embarked upon a two-week medical check-up in London, despite the nationwide strike by medical doctors in public hospitals back home.
Without a word on the plight of millions of sick Nigerians condemned to attend public hospitals nationwide, the President hopped on a plane and zoomed off to England, probably with two toothpicks in his mouth after a meal of tuwo and isi ewu.
Defending Buhari’s shameless medical trips, the most meritless of Buhari’s media aides, Lauretta Onochie, tweeted on April 7, 2021, “NEXT YEAR. PRES. @MBuhari WILL GO FOR A ROUTINE CHECKUP.
- We have been here since 2016. Its been the same wailing. So the response will also be the same. At least, once a year, People across the world see their personal Doctors especially one they have seen for about 40 years.’
It’s not hard to distinguish the noise of an empty barrel. So, Buhari, Onochie and the wastrels that make up the Presidency see nothing wrong in wasting Nigeria’s hard currency abroad in the last 40 years?
That Buhari cannot give Nigeria just one hospital he can attend, despite ruling Nigeria for eight years now, summarises his failure as a leader. It’s scandalous that Buhari didn’t feel ashamed about going to England still – for treatment – when he’s in an opportune position, in the last six year, to turn around Nigeria’s health sector.
The latest trip makes it Buhari’s 12th time to run off to London for medical treatment, despite his country having 72,000 registered medical doctors with over 50,000 of them, shamefully, out of the shores of the country due to lack of facilities and adequate welfare packages.
Buhari’s insensitivity doesn’t stop at the medical sector alone, where nurses, physiotherapists, health technologists etc are leaving the country in droves, the lethargy of his regime permeates every fabric of our national life, and holds the country down to slow death.
Even his wife, Aisha, left her matrimonial home, and took off to Dubai for six long months. It’s unheard of anywhere in the world that the wife of the president of a country, which isn’t at war, would go on vacation abroad for six months! Or, could it be that oga madam went on antenatal vacation ni?
Henceforth, I’ll be on the lookout for a bulge in the mid region of the beautiful Aisha. If Aisha gets pregnant penren? Eeeehhh!! Nigerians will put Buhari to the sword online. I bet you, trolls against the Buhari family will burn down the internet!
But seriously speaking, President Buhari won’t touch the dog. I’m sure he won’t touch the pig, either, because he’s a very pious Muslim. However, Buhari is the chichidodo, a bird that passionately hates feces but loves to eat the maggots in feces.
Buhari hates corruption, but corruption has been the signpost of his administration with millions of dollars yearly disappearing into non-working refineries and his former EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, enmeshed in financial scandals.
Buhari promised to stop medical tourism when campaigning to be President, but he and his family have made England, France, Germany, Canada, Dubai and the US their second homes.
Buhari promised to revamp the education sector, but his children never graduated from a Nigerian university.
Buhari, in 1983, promised to build infrastructure when he seized power in a military coup, but he cancelled the lofty Lagos metro line project initiated by the late Lateef Jakande administration, throwing the traffic of the lagoon city into eternal chaos. He came back in March 2019 to inaugurate a bus-stop in Lagos, though. Chai!
The alarming picture just keeps flashing in my head: Nigerian President on the bed of a random London hospital in an age when microchips can be implanted to monitor and control patients. Unmh!
Buhari rests peacefully in London while peace has fled his own country, Nigeria. Terrible.
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Video: Nigerian leaders won’t be part of a decision that will take them out of power – Fr. GEORGE EHUSANI
Demise of Yinka Odumakin, a dependable ally of the masses
By Lai Olurode
The passing away of Chief Yinka Odumakin was a great loss to this country.
He was committed to a great but restructured Nigeria.
He was a dogged and committed fighter for causes that he believed in. And really, he was committed to fighting whatever would rob off negatively on the masses, no matter their ethno-religious identity.
To my mind, not many living Nigerians are as committed to a restructured Nigeria as he is.
Odumakin was courageous, bold, painstaking in the pursuit of facts and figures.
He had a robust and versatile mind. He speaks fluently and unrelenting and consistent in the pursuit of truth.
He had no permanent friend except in what is just, fair and right
The last time he was in touch with me was a couple of weeks back and in respect of the death of yet a greater Nigerian, Alh. Lateef kayode Jakande. He wanted some clarifications about LKJ’s unbelievably spartan life, which I obliged him.
May the soul of Odumakin rest in peace and may God be with his wife, Dr. Mrs. Joe-Odumakin and the children he left behind. His death is certainly a devastating loss to the progressive camp and to all lovers of a great and peaceful Nigerian.
*Olurode is a former National Commissioner at the INEC and professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos.
April 3 2021
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