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Tinubu: The action man Nigeria needed all along?


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has so far shown unwavering determination to make tangible progress and forge fruitful alliances across party lines in just nine days of assuming office. A self-proclaimed talent hunter who is generally regarded as a results-oriented man, a master negotiator and strategist, he already demonstrates an uncanny ability to deliver results in the common interest of all Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation.

From his deft handling of the fallout from fuel subsidy removal to easing the situation with unions and, more recently, his passionate treatment of state governors across party lines, these early days could mark the direction of the Tinubu administration – one that will be marked by pragmatic, hands-on leadership, as well as direct consultations with different interest and political groups? More importantly, does the quality of his first batch of State House appointments indicate the future of his government? Some believe this is the kind of leadership Nigeria needed all along.

With this first appointment to the State House of Prince Adedamilotun Aderemi as his Personal Assistant, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as his Chief of Staff and Victor Adeleke as his Chief of State Protocol, the Tinubu administration appears to have set the stage for a transformative era by appointing exceptional individuals who embody brilliance, experience and a deep sense of patriotism to his State team with his first appointees showing a combination of youth, political dexterity and diplomatic experience.

These are the profiles of the first political representatives of President Tinubu’s State House:

Personal Assistant – ​​Prince Adedamilotun Aderemi, Young Commercial Lawyer, Crown Prince of Ile-Ife

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR recently appointed 37-year-old Prince Adedamilotun Aderemi as Personal Assistant to the President. Prior to his appointment, Damilotun was the Personal Assistant to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for 5 years.

Prince Aderemi is a lawyer par excellence, an active student who achieved first class academic results in science and arts; BA in Chemistry, Imperial College London and LL.B Hons Upper Second Class, University of Buckingham. He obtained an LLM in International and Commercial Law, specializing in International Law with Honours) from the University of Buckingham and was called to the Nigerian Bar in August 2014.

In practice, Prince Aderemi has co-authored a number of practical guides, including “A Practical Guide on the Impact of the New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations”. He has advised on a number of unprecedented issues including; the $300 million (USD) federal government diaspora bond, the first US SEC-registered bond issued by Nigeria and the most oversubscribed ($500 million (USD)) Eurobond issue in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Crown Prince of Ife, Damilotun is the grandson of Ooni Adesoji Aderemi, the king of the ancient city of Ile-Ife Kingdom from 1930-1980. He is also the great grandson of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the great sage.

Many describe him as a shrewd strategist, with a passionate and patriotic heart for all things Nigerian, for which he is constantly looking for new ways to make Nigeria better.

Chief of Staff – Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, respected lawyer, former Speaker of the House of Representatives

The appointment of Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff further confirms President Tinubu’s seriousness in selecting advanced technocrats with long tenure and experience in key positions.

Elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in June 2019, Gbajabiamila is recognized as one of Nigeria’s most successful lawmakers. A distinguished jurist, he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. He continued in the USA, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude from John Marshall and earned himself the title of Doctor of Jurisprudence. . He then went on to write and take bar exams in Georgia, after which he established another successful law firm where he practiced until returning to Nigeria.

With the encouragement and support of President Tinubu, then Governor of Lagos, Gbajabiamila dabbled in party politics in 2003 on the platform of the then Alliance for Democracy and was subsequently elected for six consecutive terms to represent the people of Surulere 1 Lagos Federal Constituency in the National Assembly. He served as minority whip in the House, and by the end of his second term, Gbajabiamila had sponsored the largest number of bills in the National Assembly.

State Head of Protocol – Victor Adeleke, career diplomat, former Permanent Representative to the African Union and UNECA

President Bola Tinubu’s State Chief of Protocol (SCOP) appointee, Victor Adeleke, is a diplomat par excellence with long service (30 years). Prior to his appointment, Adeleke was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Ethiopia, concurrently accredited to Djibouti and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia.

Legally educated, Adeleke graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-Ife, was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991, before joining the Foreign Service in 1993 where he trained in International Law and Diplomacy at the Diplomatic Service Academy. He was later posted as Personal Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1997 before being posted to the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing, China (1998-2000) where he acted as Nigeria’s key representative on political and economic affairs. He transferred to the administration of the head office in Brasilia, Brazil in 2001, acting as a key political liaison between both countries. Adeleke’s talent was noticed in the ministry. Namely, in 2010, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010) requested to be deployed as the Assistant Director of Protocol at the State House, Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adeleke served exceptionally well, known for his coolness, excellent management style and well-roundedness, he was posted to Warsaw, Poland in 2010 to help develop Nigeria’s relationship with the country. After that in 2017, he went on to head the Department of Economy, Trade and Industry at the Nigerian High Commission in London, while at the same time he was the Deputy Head of Mission at the Nigerian Embassy in Ireland.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not those of TheCable.

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