By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Noble laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has been described as the architect of a disciplined, firm and committed Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), made this known in Minna, Niger StateÂ on MondayÂ night in a statement titled: “Message of Goodwill on the 30th Anniversary of the Federal Road Safety Commission.”
“Our administration summoned Professor Soyinka to higher national service as the founding Corps Marshall of the FRSC. I am proud to say that the basic foundation of discipline, firmness and commitment to humanitarian service was laid at this initial period.Â
“No doubt, subsequent leaderships of the FRSC have brought to the organisation glaring innovations, increased zeal and heightened commitment,” the ststement quoted Babangida as saying.
He recalled that before the formation of the FRSC, the carnage on Nigeria’s highways had become “unacceptable”, adding thatÂ It was then a matter of serious concern to Nigerians and “indeed the international community”.
Babangida said his administration had to take the initiative by drawing from the experience in the old Oyo State, adding that heÂ was particularly happy that the organisation had been able to weather the storm and remain afloat these 30 years.
“In a national environment where institutions tend to be shortlived and rise or fall with the fortunes of changing dispensations, it is gratifying that the FRSC is one institution that has weathered the storm of changing times and administrations
“Not only has it survived, it has indeed grown into a permanent feature of our national landscape. Throughout the length and breadth of our nation, the presence of FRSC officers and operatives on our highways reassures our travelling public and reinforces the belief that we are all united in the commitment to prevent or at least significantly reduce the loss of lives on our roads and highways,” he said.
The former military president was also happy that the size of the Commission had increased in line with the increase in the national population and the volume of traffic on the roads, addingÂ that the national spread and presence of the organisation could now be felt all over the country.Â
“Even those who initially doubted its necessity and efficacy can now testify to the drastic reduction in Nigeriaâ€™s road traffic accidents and therefore the attendant casualties.
“We all ought to be proud that the negative publicity that our high road traffic accident rates and casualty figures used to attract is no longer a concern,” he said.
Babangida congratulated the FRSC for what he described as “their worthy achievements over the years” and charged them to keep the flag flying.