by Segun Odeleye
The conduct of drivers in the convoys of highly placed citizens especially governors have been on the front burner recently following the accidents which led to the death of former ASUU president Festus Iyayi and another accident allegedly involving the wife of the Kwara governor which also led to loss of lives.
The recklessness, excessive speed and overzealousness of the official convoys of public officials however have a few exceptions, the most notable of which is the governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola.
Another exception is the Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi, who has said in the past that the long convoy and rough driving that usually announce the arrival of a governor is an aberration to a democratically elected government. He described it as one of the abnormalities inherited from the long military regime in Nigeria.
Shortly after he assumed office as governor, Fayemi held a meeting with the security and protocol officers on how to discard the long security apparatus attached to his office, which he said makes him look like another military administrator of the state. At the end of the meeting, an effective security measure was adopted and his convoy was resolved to four or five vehicles with speed limit of 100 kilometer per hour on the highway. Also, there is no blaring of siren in the governor’s convoy which is also known to obey traffic laws.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to Fayemi, Mr. Yinka Olubode, “our convoy is among the most decent in Nigeria, because Mr. Governor’s convoy has maximum of five vehicles that is, his car, the spare one, a pilot vehicle and the other one for the security as well as an ambulance, which was included recently.
“As a matter of rule, he made it clear that they should not use siren, even you can not see Mr. Governor’s convoy blaring siren in Abuja or Lagos. No matter how urgent the assignment, he would rather ask us to leave early than to resort to reckless driving or disobeying traffic rules. In fact, as a rule, no government driver including his convoy should exceed 100km per hour and that must be on the highway.”
Oyebode said that apart from traffic rules that must be obeyed, the welfare of the drivers is also very important. According to him, “we ensure that they go for constant training and medical check up.”