John Adams, Minna
Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has thumbed up the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for its resilience and doggedness in its efforts towards the reduction of roads carnage in the country since its establishment 30 years ago.
Babangida said in a country where institutions tend to be short-lived, and rise or fall with the fortunes of changing dispensations, the FRSC is one institution that has weathered the storm of changing times and administrations.
The former Nigerian leader, in a goodwill message to the corps to mark the 30 anniversary of its establishment, pointed out it was gratifying to note that the FRSC has not only survived, it has indeed grown into a permanent feature of our national landscape.
Babangida whose administration founded the corps, maintained that throughout the length and breadth of the nation, the presence of FRSC officers and operatives on our highways reassures the traveling 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”.
The former Military President recalled that prior to the establishment of the FRSC, the level of carnage on our roads and highways had become unacceptable, adding “It was a matter of serious concern to Nigerians and indeed the international community”.
According him, it was as a result of this that his administration rose to the occasion, inspired by the concern for the protection of human lives and the pursuit of the common good that informed the establishment of the FRSC.
While commending the pioneering leadership of Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka for laying a solid foundation of discipline, firmness and commitment to humanitarian service, he expressed happiness that subsequent leaderships of the FRSC have brought to the organization glaring innovations, increased zeal and heightened commitment.
He added further that it was worthy of commendation the increase in the size of the corps in line with the increase in our population and the volume of traffic on our roads, saying that “it is more gratifying, the national spread and presence of the FRSC can now be felt all over our country.
“Even those who initially doubted its necessity and efficacy can now testify to the drastic reduction in Nigeria’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 rate and casualty figures used to attract is no longer a concern”, he added
Babangida, therefore, urged the FRSC to remain faithful to its founding principles, in addition to remain a dynamic organisation, one that embraces the challenges of our changing world to meet the needs and expectations of an increasingly sophisticated public”.
“Above all, the FRSC must rise to the challenges posed by new technologies and their application to road safety. These adaptations are imperative if the corps is to survive in our new world as a truly relevant national institution,” he said.