President Bola Ahmed Tinubu: The action man Nigeria needed all along?

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has so far demonstrated unwavering determination to drive tangible progress and establish fruitful alliances across party lines in just nine days since assuming office. A self-proclaimed talent hunter who is generally regarded as a results-oriented action man, a master negotiator, and a strategist, he already displays an uncanny ability to pursue results in the general interest of all Nigerians regardless of party affiliations.

From his deft handling of the fallout of the fuel subsidy removal to dousing the labour union situation and, more recently, his impassioned charge to state governors across party lines, could these early days signpost the direction of the Tinubu Administration – one that will be marked by pragmatic, hands-on leadership, as well as direct consultations with varied interest and political groups? More importantly, do the quality of his first set of state house appointments point toward the future of his government? Some believe this is the kind of leadership Nigeria has needed all along.

With these first state house appointments of Prince Adedamilotun Aderemi as his Personal Assistant, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as his Chief of Staff, and Victor Adeleke as his State Chief of Protocol, the Tinubu administration seems to have set the stage for a transformative era through the appointment of exceptional individuals who embody brilliance, experience, and a deep sense of patriotism into his statehouse team with his first appointees displaying a blend of youth, political dexterity, and diplomatic experience respectively.

Here are the profiles of President Tinubu’s first political State House appointees:

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 the Personal Assistant to the President. Prior to his appointment Damilotun was Personal Assistant to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for 5 years.

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

In practice, Prince Aderemi co-authored a number of practice guides, including  “A practical guide on the impact of New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.” He advised on a number of unprecedented matters including;  a Federal Government $300 million (USD ) diaspora bond, the first US SEC registered bond issued by Nigeria and the most subscribed ( $500million (USD)) Eurobond Issuance in sub-Saharan Africa.

A crown prince of Ife, Damilotun is the grandson of Ooni Adesoji Aderemi, 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.

He is described by many as a level-headed strategist, with a passionate and patriotic heart for all things Nigerian, for which he constantly seeks new ways to make Nigeria better.

Chief of Staff – Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Distinguished Lawyer, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives

Femi Gbajabiamila’s appointment as Chief of Staff further reiterates President’s Tinubu’s seriousness about selecting accomplished, long serving technocrats with track records to key positions.

Elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in June 2019, Gbajabiamila is recognised as one of Nigeria’s most accomplished law makers. A distinguished lawyer, he graduated at the top of his class at the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. He proceeded to the USA, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude from John Marshall and earned for himself a Juris Doctor degree. He then went on to write and pass the Georgia Bar exams, after which he set up another thriving law office where he practised until his return to Nigeria.

With encouragement and support from President Tinubu, then governor of Lagos, Gbajabiamila delved into partisan politics in 2003 on the platform of the then Alliance for Democracy and thereafter was elected for six consecutive terms to represent the people of Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos in the National Assembly. He served as the Minority Whip of the house, and by the end of his second term in office, Gbajabiamila had sponsored the highest number of Bills in the National Assembly.

State Chief of Protocol – Victor Adeleke, Career Diplomat, Former Permanent Representative to the African Union and UNECA

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

Legally trained, Adeleke graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-Ife, was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991, before he proceeded to join the Foreign Service in 1993 where he trained in International Law and Diplomacy at the Foreign Service Academy. He was later deployed as Personal Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1997 before being posted to the Embassy of Nigeria in Beijing, China(1998-2000), where he acted as key representative of NIgeria on political and economic matters. He moved on to the Head Chancery administration in Brasilia, Brazil in 2001 acting as a key political liaison between both countries. Adeleke’s talent was noted in service, Notably, in 2010 President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010) requested that he be deployed as Assistant Director of Protocol at State house, Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adeleke served exceptionally well, noted for his cool-headedness, excellent management style and well roundedness he was deployed to Warsaw, Poland in 2010 to assist with developing Nigeria’s relationship with the country. Thereafter in 2017, he proceeded to head the Economic, Trade and Industry section of the Nigeria High Commision in London, whilst concurrently Deputising the Head of Mission at the Nigerian embassy in Ireland.

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