Robert, the eldest son of the late Commissioner of Police and Commandant, Nigeria Police College, Ikeja, CP Tunde Sobulo, in this interview with the editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT, shares the cause of his pains over his father’s death, the plan by the family to immortalize his name, among other issues. Read on…
Please, share fondest memories of your dad.
Dad was a disciplined man, a very funny man, and a very caring man. He was everything kids would want in a dad.
What was your childhood ambition and how much have you achieved this?
As a child, all I wanted to do was to join the military. Towards the end of high school however, I figured Law School was my path. Upon obtaining my Bachelor Degree, the Private Security field began to look more promising; I am currently thriving in this field. Credit to the framework that my father laid down years back.
Tell us your place in the family and the relationship with your siblings.
I am the first son. My mother is American. I have an older sister in U.S., from a different mother, her mother is also American. And then two other girls and a boy by his Nigerian wife, so we are five in number. Relationship with my siblings? I would be lying if I say it is fine. Our views differ, our lifestyles differ. I, just like my father, hold two Bachelors and one Master’s degree. That, I believe was the reason why he took pride in handing over certain things to me.
Your late father being a top cop, would you say his status influenced your lifestyle in anyway, and did it open doors where you ordinarily wouldn’t have had a chance to be?
Absolutely, his name is legendary. And the discipline that is my composition today was instilled by him.
What has it been with life, frankly, after your dad’s passing, in terms of relationship with the extended family?
(Sighs deeply) It has not been favorable. Some want me to dance to their tune so that they can control all of my father’s things. They have even threatened me with physical harm, among other things that I cannot discuss on the pages of newspaper. The funniest part of all this is that most of them could not in their wildest dreams act this way if my father was still here. But for me, I believe my father is still here, he lives through me.
From personal observation, did you feel your dad’s passion for the police job, and would you say he was lucky to have reaped all the benefits of his loyalty to police?
Of course, I feel the passion and still do. I remember in the mid-90s during our days at Mopol 9, Kano Barracks. Tear-gas smokes at parade ground woke us up every morning. Dad was DSP then, the second-in-command there. Ringim, the former IGP was the O/C then, a CSP. A good man, he gave me two German shepherd puppies. On dad reaping the benefits of his loyalty to the Nigerian Police, I would say nature cheated on him. He left when he was about to complete the race. I envisioned a man of his caliber retiring as IGP (Inspector General of Police).
Did you nurse any fears during your dad’s sickness?
Yes, I did. It wasn’t an interesting experience at all. Me and my wife lost weight during this devastating period, we are still recovering from it.
The general belief is that career police officers have little time to be with the family, was your late dad an exception; how close was he to home considering his highflying status?
I got used to his absence at an early age. Being a true father that he was, he changed our schools and moved us closer whenever he was transferred to a distant place. We all understood the nature of his job.
Is there any plan by the kids, especially, to ensure that his name is memorized and all he stood for is not allowed to die with him?
Certainly, it is in progress. We are planning to immortalize him.
Tell us about your wife and how much supportive has she been to your career.
My dear wife has been supportive in all aspects.
With your wife, was it love at first sight?
Yes, but not until I established that she was smart and intelligent.
Did you ever encounter any experience with women who wanted more than friendship from you, given that you are Commissioner Sobulo’s son?
I have always been a very busy person. So, there has never been an experience of such.
How do you relax and when do you have the time for pleasure?
Sunday is the only day that I have to rest so I put my phone on silent. As of pleasure, I like to read and explore topics that unravel our solar system. I enjoy watching documentaries as well.
What are your favourite drinks, food and car brands?
On the American side; pancake, bacon and eggs. On the Nigerian side; Ofada rice, with fish in palm oil stew. My favorite cars, in Nigeria, is Benz. In America, it is necessary a Cadillac.
Share with us something interesting about your career, and ultimate target in life.
In the private security world, it is crucial that you find your work interesting. My ultimate goal in life is to be greater than my father.