Home Education The Diplomat, The Professor, And The Politician: Quizzing Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu...

The Diplomat, The Professor, And The Politician: Quizzing Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu On The Toyin Falola Interviews

There is only one thing that could feature in a gathering of interested parties: an endless debate. On the 21st of this month, this is expected at the Toyin Falola interviews, where the only direct surviving heir to the Awolowo empire shall be engaged on pressing issues in the country. For those who do not know, the implication of the role of Chief Awolowo Dosumu in the evolution of the modern Nigerian state transcends the heritage of the family in the Nigerian media industry to such areas as politics, humanitarianism, gender equity, research, and general nation-building projects. The elegant Dr. Awolowo-Dosumu has gone through these structures of social emancipation as the daughter of a key actor in the making of modern Nigeria, and as a major actor herself acting in the capacity of a diplomat, teacher, medical doctor, and administrator.

Unpacking the experiences she had gathered all these years from these structures, Michel Deelen, John Nwodo, and Oluyemi Oluremi Obilade, have been designated to anchor the flow of questions to be posed during the program. The choice of the three interviewers describes the layers of questions and discourse expected to characterize the meeting’s engagements.
Michel Deelen is the current Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands Embassy in South Sudan. He holds his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Legal Education. This experience has seen him study at the Universities of Maastricht in the Netherlands, Westminster in the UK, Salamanca in Spain, and Nairobi in Kenya, after which he briefly joined the Dutch Military. His specialization in international trade law and human rights, good governance and democratization, conflict management, and international culture policy, as well as skills in the act of diplomacy, have earned him strategic offers by the Dutch government. In this capacity, he served and represented the Dutch government at the WTO, ECOWAS, EBRD, EU, World Bank, and its foreign service missions in Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere. Cumulatively, he has served longer in Nigeria than any other African state, making Nigeria his African home.

John Nwodo is known as one of the longest-serving political actors in Post-colonial Nigeria. A trained lawyer and economist at the University of Ibadan and the London School of Economics and Political Science, Nwodo has served in various capacities as a public servant since the birth of the second republic. During this period, he served as the Minister of Civil Aviation during the Shagari administration, which was terminated by the military putsch of that period. He later joined the transitional government headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar as the Minister of Information. As the immediate Present-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, he reincarnated the ideals of the likes of Zik as he constantly demanded fair inclusion of people of the zone in the loop of governance.

Bringing in the scholarly touch, Prof. Oluyemisi Oluremi Obilade, a Professor of Adult Education and Women Studies from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, has held several positions of leadership in the education industry both within and outside the university system. She served as the Vice-Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, and was former Commissioner for Education in Osun State. Her stellar performances in these capacities are testaments to her exposure over the years, especially in the academics. Professor Obilade is well-traveled, and she has participated in and attended courses organized at the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA, Accra, Ghana), but also at the Harvard Business School (USA), the Judge Business School, Cambridge University (UK), and the Goizueta Business School, Emory University (USA). This is besides the many outstanding awards in the form of fellowships and grants she has received as a leading and established figure in the academics and in recognition of her contribution to knowledge production through journals, books, public lectures, and mentorship in Africa.In a similar vein, she has received many awards, including the Nelson Mandela Award for Leadership at the University of Texas at Austin, for her service to the society.

These eminent figures have their distinct interests in the nation-building project of African states, Nigeria, particularly, which they all pursue in their various callings and capacities. Since none of the issues that fall within their immediate domains can be addressed in isolation of the other, their overlapping causes, implications, and the way forward will be discussed on the Toyin Falola Interviews this coming Sunday.

Sunday, February 21, 2021
5:00 PM Nigeria
4:00 PM GMT
10:00 AM Austin

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