It is no news, that public perception of the Nigerian Police Force is negative; arising from the activities of few bad eggs in the force.

What is new is that, at some point in the history of the Law Enforcement Agency, certain individuals distinguished themselves doing their job diligently.
Top on this list is Rtd CSP Mary Abebi Iyabode Oyebade (nee Akintona).
If you were born in Lagos, in the 60s/70s, you might have grown to hear about a certain NO NONSENSE Policewoman; who was dreaded by the Commercial Bus Drivers at the time.
Fondly called Mama ‘Toyin’ Olopa, she was the TERROR of Danfo and Molue Drivers.
The story in Lagos, at the time, was that Danfo and Molue Drivers always watched out for when she would not be on the road; before they come out.
On the days she was on Traffic Duty, most of the commercial bus drivers would not DARE come out without their complete document; just as you have today, many NEVER had their documents complete and intact.
According to Witnesses, she REFUSED to take bribes nor accept plea from offenders. They were prosecuted to the full extent of the Law; in a CORRECTIVE manner.
It is cheering that many of those she brought to book, ADORED her afterwards; and became her fans; for her no nonsense stance in enforcing the Law.
Imagine if she was around today, Traffic in Lagos would not be as bad as it is because she would stand her ground till the right thing is done regardless of who you are.
Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) can LEARN from her pragmatic approach to Policing, as well as Road and Traffic management for the benefit of the government and the Public at large.
Mama Toyin Olopa lived a fulfilled life; with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; having lived till the ripe old age of 94.
She passed on GRACEFULLY; on February 5, 2023; in the presence of her children.
She sang to her last breath; on that fateful day. Actually transitioned singing “Jesus my only Strength” after reciting the Lord’s prayer, followed by psalm 23.
In appreciation of her impact on their Lives, all her children- biological and adopted, Mentees (countless number of them) across the world came together to celebrate her in a 4-day, 2- State program, that held on April 11-14, 2023.
The first two days took place in Lagos; while the last two days were hosted in Abeokuta, her place of birth and origin.
The testimonies of those who got the opportunity to pour out their love for Mama, out of the overwhelming number of her Mentees, who travelled from outside Nigeria, just to APPRECIATE the woman who NURTURED them to global greatness revealed Rtd CSP Mary Oyebade’s multi-dimensional personality.
According to them, Mama managed every facet of her life to near perfection.
As a Police Officer, she joined the Nigerian Police Force, in 1957 at the invitation of her husband, Pa Rufus Akanni Oyebade.
She did her job to the letter; in the best interest of the Public.
One of her favorite nephews, Primate Emmanuel Akintona, who she affectionately called Baba Idogo, said Mama was a relentless workaholic.
“Anytime I followed her out, there is no saying when we would return home. Besides her usual office runs, she would go from one court to the other; and once the presiding Judges know she is the one involved in a case, they didn’t stay long on that matter because they know that Mama ALWAYS does right by the Law and dictates of her job.” Akintona said.
According to Akintona, her Martial Arts and self-defense skills equipped her to deal with threats.
“There was a time she was asked to go arrest two Police Officers who were collecting bribe on the road. She took me along. I watched Mama DISARM two able-bodied, ARMED Police men…”
That was the kind of skill and passion, she brought to bear on her job.
As a woman, she was a faithful adherent of the Custom and Traditions of her people.
As a Christian, she literally lived her life for the Lord.
Despite the demands of her job, her faith in and service to God was never tampered with; as she made sure her children and everyone around her did the same thing.
For instance, no one dared to stay behind when it was time to go to church.
She was God’s TRUE Soldier in every sense of the word, and that explains the passion with which the church took over her burial.
As a wife, she was the PERFECT soul mate, lover and SUBMISSIVE matrimonial partner.
According to ALL who knew this aspect of her life, she wore the same clothing with her husband; ate from the same plate with him, and would not eat until her husband was around.
For one known and respected as the TOUGHEST Police Personnel in Lagos; indeed, the whole of Nigeria, at the time, she was UNCONDITIONALLY submissive to her husband who was also her colleague in the Force.
As a neighbor, she welcomed Strangers into her home, fed and cared for them.
So many who testified, kept making the same point. “When you go to Mama’s house crying, she ENSURED you left SMILING…”
Among the great global Stars, whose lives she impacted, is Juju music icon and Legend, Ebenezer Obey; whose appearance at the WAKE Keep in Abeokuta was the high point of that day’s event.
With his ever-edifying voice, he sang one of his evergreen songs, Mama Toyin Olopa’s favorite, and got the audience ecstatic.
According to Juju Legend, Mama called him SUPO; was always there for him when he needed a hand to lift him to greatness.
Just as she did for Obey, Rtd CSP Oyebade would never help you just to a point, and leave you to do the rest for yourself.
She ENSURED you got all you needed to get off to a good start in life.
However, this side of her as a caring and compassionate woman, does not in any way affect her UNCOMPROMISING stance against violation of the Law.
One particular lady, who was assisted by Mama, said; “One day, some people brought plenty meat to the house and said they brought it for mama. I was overwhelmed and happy, so I accepted the meats. I didn’t know them. When Mama came and I showed her the meat, she was outraged. She said I had collected bribe on her behalf; and demanded that I returned it to the people who brought them, but immediately, daddy, her husband, intervened, she calmed down; without one more word. I was asked to throw the meat away.”
That was the kind of person she was.
As a mother, she was loving, but firm.
According to her children, 6pm was the curfew time for them; “And you dared not flout it…” said Toyin, the first of her children.
Her disciplined hand paid off in the lives of her children as they all succeeded in DISTINGUISHING themselves as top national and global personalities in their various disciplines.
Oluwatoyin is a top medical Personnel in the US with a flourishing medical career.
Popularly known by her online television program, as Dr. O, Toyin commands the kind of love and respect that not many Nigerians are privileged to have in foreign lands.
Abimbola, a lawyer, is in the UK; while Leye, retired as a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, having served MERITORIOUSLY, just as Mama and Papa.
As a matter of fact, those who know of his exploits in the force believe Leye was the real definition of a Police Officer, who demonstrated the letter and spirit of the role and responsibility of the Police Man, to the People he is meant to serve and protect.
Leye, according to some of the Police Officers, remains a model of a true Officer and a Gentleman in the Nigerian Police Force till date.
As a grandmother, Mama Toyin Olopa was always excited at the sight of her grandchildren. She cherished their presence and company with child-like fervor.
According to them, she DOTED on her grandchildren obsessively.
One great trait of Mama was that she loved to sing and dance.
In her nineties, till her last day, Mrs. Oyebade had her sensory organs intact; and that generated moments of humor and laughter, many times.
In one instance, the children had come to check on her, and they met her staring at them as if she could no longer recognize them.
Nervous, they started freaking out, asking her if she could still remember who they were to her. She kept staring at them for some seconds more.
When she was done SPOOKING them out, she said, in the sharpest tone possible; “Of course, I know who you are… “ and they all laughed.
That is another side to Mama.
She was extremely humorous.
She came first in written and physical exams.
She was honored in her career in the police and was extremely famous because she saw the corruption in the Nigerian Police Traffic Department where she worked at a time; and led the department to eradicate bribery and corruption in the Nigerian Police Traffic Division.
She was given the nick name Mama Toyin Olopa, terror of Danfo drivers.
She was honored because of this exemplary work.
After 15 years and 15 days in the Police Force,
some bad eggs in the top echelon of the nation’s Law Enforcement agency, SNEAKED her name into the list of those approved to be retired that year, in 1975, citing erroneously “in the best interest of the public.”
The no nonsense and disciplined Late Gen. Murtala Mohammed was the head of State, while Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was his deputy, at the time.
The question is, why such a government would RETIRE such an OUTSTANDING female Police Officer, whose fame was out there for all to see.
As it turned out, Commissioner Adejoh who stopped in his tracks when he saw her name on the list as he was reading out the names, swore there had been an error that he would investigate; which he did. The mistake was rectified and she was called back to the Force, but she respectfully DECLINED the offer to return because she had MOVED ON.
She went into business trading, and Building Construction works; as a Contractor.
That lifted her into another dimension of existence because she took the discipline, honesty and hard work that is lacking in the country into her business.
She has gone now; but the legacy she left remains.
Without a doubt, Nigerian government OWES CSP Mary Abebi Iyabode Oyebade, a Public APOLOGY and a National Merit award to DULY recognize, reward, and appreciate her contribution to the advancement of Law Enforcement in the country.
She loved with a passion. She met needs.
Rtd CSP Oyebade embodied the letters of the lyrics; of the nation’s national anthem.
As a committed compatriot, she rose to obey the call; to serve her fatherland.
With love, strength and faith, in her aspiration for Nigeria, she served with her HEART and MIGHT.
Surely, the right thing to do to ensure her memory and legacy are preserved, is for the Nigerian government to ENSURE that the LABOR of this HEROINE is not allowed to be in vain.
CSP Oyebade worked her heart out and to achieve a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
Her record of meritorious service in the nation’s Police Force is yet to be rivaled by any Police Personnel, living or late.
In conclusion, this apology and national recognition of Mama Toyin Olopa is should be a top priority for any government; incoming or outgoing, to accomplish.
Honoring her posthumously is an imperative for any government who truly believes in the Rule of Law.

By Chris Paul Otaigbe 08185591375