Monday, July 25, 2022 12:52 pm
By Yeye Bolanle Olatunde
In October 1988, the Federal Road Safety Corps officially took off at No.1, Osuntokun Avenue, Bodija, Ibadan with the iconic Nobel Laureate Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka at the helm. Indeed it came with a loud bang and a warning to the motoring public that it would no longer be business as usual.
Two weeks earlier, Bimbo, Kike, Folake and I had arrived at the NYSC Camp inside Baptist School, Ede in the old Oyo State while Bunmi was at the University of Ibadan for her Masters, having observed NYSC post-NCE much earlier.
By mid-October, we landed in Ibadan for our Primary Assignments. Bimbo was deployed to the FRSC while the rest of us were posted to other places. However, we were a quad going virtually everywhere and doing everything together. Therefore, Bimbo’s office became our office where we regularly gather. This was naturally so because Bimbo was working with a very nice and kind boss, indeed an officer and a gentleman. That man was Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi.
Within a short while, we made friends with him and a few other pioneer staff within the Commission namely Francis Abhowo, Late Dayo Sanusi, Taiwo and Kehinde Ayoola and Ayo Ojedokun. We fell in love with the Corps so much that we would join our friends on patrol to as far as the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway (everywhere was safe then). I’m sure we all would have joined the Corps after NYSC except that ladies were not allowed as Corp Officers then. Lest I forget, Dr. Olu Agunloye was our big brother with his brothers, Tokunbo and Tope also becoming our friends.
Thus, the FRSC Club House at Sango, Ibadan (The Point I think) became our regular place to unwind. Yemi Oyeyemi as he was popularly known then was good and kind to Bimbola and us by an extension such that till date, those memories linger. I vividly remember he was a very quiet but hardworking officer.
Fast forward to several decades after when outsiders were being brought in to head the commission, I became sad. I started praying fervently that God should show mercy and make him the first Corps Marshal from within. To the glory of God, my prayer and that of others concerning him were answered and I’m so happy and proud that he did not disappoint. Whenever I had cause to interact with FRSC staff, it gave me great joy and satisfaction as they spoke glowingly of him.
Today, as the last man standing amongst the Wole Soyinka boys bows out gracefully after a fulfilling career, I can only wish BOO a blissful and happy retirement.
I know he has a couple of things up his sleeves and I know as a matter of fact that Nigeria will still need his services somehow, somewhere and sometimes.
Congratulations Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi Ph.D.
I celebrate you