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FRSC corps marshal’s tenure and the moral questions

The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi attained 60 years of age on November 26, 2020,…

The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi attained 60 years of age on November 26, 2020, but is still in service, and at the helm of affairs at the FRSC. This is a clear contravention of the laid down rules in public service, and also against the law of natural justice, and therefore morally wrong.

It is on the premise of strict observance of certain routine by nature that mankind put in place the concept of tenure in positions of leadership, either elective or appointive. We are therefore focusing attention on the tenure of the incumbent FRSC Corps Marshal, whose continuous stay in office beyond 26th November 2020, raises serious moral and legal questions. Already, there are rumbles within the service over his continued stay, with petitions flying in very places, including the Presidential Villa, to stop the unfair attempt to perpetuate himself in office beyond legal stipulations.

The incumbent Corps Marshal’s stay beyond November 26 last year will not only violate the nation’s laws but also stagnate young and energetic officers in the line of succession in the road safety agency. Mr. Oyeyemi must give way for fresh blood to reinvigorate the service. His appointment and stay in office are subject to the provisions of the public service rules. Much more so, he is a career public servant on permanent/pensionable appointment. He was appointed in May 2014 as Corps Marshal.

One group, the Labour Voice, in its petition to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), demanded that Mr. Oyeyemi be directed to immediately hand over to the next most senior officer in the Corps, to pave way for Mr. President to appoint a new Corps Marshal/CEO for FRSC in accordance with the law.

The petitioners also referenced a 2009 circular by the then Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS) with the following number HCSF/EMS/EIR/B.63694/1V/T/96 of 27/10/2009, which makes it clear that any such officers must exit at the attainment of 60 years of age or 35 years of service.

Mr. Oyeyemi knows fully well that he was due to be 60 years of age on the 26th of November, 2020 as at the time that his first tenure of four years expired in July 2018. If he wanted an extension, he ought to have retired at that point so that he can then take a tenured appointment, which will now allow him to run his full four-year (second) term of office.

It is even disappointing that Mr. Oyeyemi, who is the first Corps Marshal to emerge from the ranks of staff of the FRSC to attempt to manipulate his way beyond his tenure rather than give way to others behind him to progress. One may ask what he is looking for? Is Mr. President not magnanimous enough to this man? Is he trying to cause confusion and disarray in the system? Is this the legacy he wants to leave behind?

While calling on Mr. President to as a matter of urgency cause an investigation into the attempted manipulation of a section of a government circular to perpetuate his stay in office, the SGF and the HoS are also advised to ensure that the rule of law is upheld by directing Mr. Oyeyemi to swiftly submit his notice of retirement to take effect from the 26th of November, 2020.

It also behoves the Corps Marshal to follow the path of dignity by adhering to the civil service rules and the Act establishing the FRSC to avoid arousing unnecessary tension within the Corps.

Mr. Tolani Abel is the Coordinator, Initiative for Transparency and Accountability in Public Service

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