Bolaji Akinyemi

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Bolaji Akinyemi
Bolajiakinyemi.jpg
Bolaji Akinyemi, in academic dress.
External Affairs Minister of Nigeria
In office
1985–1987
President Ibrahim Babangida
Preceded by Ibrahim Gambari
Succeeded by Ike Nwachukwu
Personal details
Born (1942-01-04) January 4, 1942 (age 72)
Ilesa, Osun State
Nationality Nigerian
Spouse(s) Rowena Akinyemi
Children Atinuke Akinyemi, Tosin Akinyemi, Tolu Akinyemi, Benjamin Akinyemi
Profession Professor of political science
Website www.profbolajiakinyemi.com
Director General of the NIIA Akinyemi (right) with General Murtala Mohammed (left).
Director General of the NIIA Akinyemi (right) with his wife Rowena (left) and President Shehu Shagari (center).

Akinwande Bolaji Akinyemi (born January 4, 1942) is a Nigerian professor of political science[1] who was his country's External Affairs Minister from 1985[2] to late 1987.[3] He is chairman of the National Think Tank.[4]

Early life, academic career, and personal life[edit]

Akinyemi was born in Ilesa, in what is now Osun State. He attended Igbobi College in Yaba from 1955 until 1959, Christ's School in Ado Ekiti from 1960 to 1961, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, from 1962 to 1964, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, US, 1964 to 1966, and Trinity College, Oxford University, England, from 1966 until 1969.[2]

He was a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and at the Diplomacy Training Programme, University of Nairobi, Kenya, both in 1977. He was Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, US in 1979, Professor of Political Science at the University of Lagos, from 1983 until 1985, and Visiting Fellow, St. John's College, Cambridge, England in 1984.[2]

Akinyemi was Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) from 1975 until 1983.[2] The NIAA is an organization focusing on Nigerian foreign policy; while he was Director-General, it was involved in promoting Nigerian-Angolan relations, among other things.[5]

He married Rowena Jane Viley in 1970. They have one son and three daughters.[2]

Term as External Affairs Minister[edit]

Akinyemi was appointed Minister of External Affairs by military leader Ibrahim Babangida in 1985. While in this position, he originated the Technical Aid Corps (TAC), a program which sent Nigerian professionals overseas to engage in volunteer work. It was designed to "promote the country's image and status as a major contributor to Third World and particularly African development".[6] He also came up with the concept of the "Concert of Medium Powers".[2]

In his position as Minister of External Affairs, Akinyemi headed numerous Nigerian delegations. Among the delegations he headed were his country's delegations to the United Nations General Assembly Session (1985), the Organisation of African Unity, Council of Ministers Session (1986), the Non–Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference (1986), the United Nations General Assembly Annual Session (1986), the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Critical Economic Situation in Africa (1986), the Budget Session of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (1987), the Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (1987), the United Nations General Assembly Session (1987), and to the Extra–Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity devoted to African debt (1987).[7]

In 1987, Akinyemi stated his support for Nigeria developing nuclear weapons.[8] He referred to the proposal as the "black bomb," and said that "Nigeria has a sacred responsibility to challenge the racial monopoly of nuclear weapons."[8]

Later life[edit]

During the short-lived Third Republic of 1993, he called on the military to overthrow Ernest Shonekan's administration;[1][9] Sani Abacha, Defense Minister at the time, later did so, and assumed the position of head of state. Akinyemi was later among those who opposed Abacha's regime.[2]

In August 2007, President Umaru Yar'Adua appointed him to the newly created Electoral Reform Panel.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shaw, Timothy M.; Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere. Illusions of Power: Nigeria in Transition. Africa World Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-86543-642-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Oloyede, Dokun (2002-01-06). "Bolaji Akinyemi, the Seagull, at 60". Thisday online (Leaders & Company). Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  3. ^ Shaw, 127.
  4. ^ "National Think Tank pledges support for Omehia". The Tide Online (Rivers State Newspaper Corporation). 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  5. ^ Inamete, Ufot Bassey (2001). Foreign Policy Decision-Making in Nigeria. Susquehanna University Press. p. 94. ISBN 1-57591-048-9. 
  6. ^ Abegunrin, Olayiwola (2003). "The Second Phase of Military Rule, 1983-1999". Nigerian Foreign Policy Under Military Rule, 1966-1999. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-97881-8. 
  7. ^ "Professor Bolaji Akinyemi's Profile". Bolaji Akinyemi & Associates. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  8. ^ a b Brooke, James (1987-11-23). "Nigeria Trying to Start Over Amid Recession and Turmoil". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  9. ^ Okafor, Obiora Chinedu (2005). Legitimizing Human Rights NGOs: Lessons from Nigeria. Africa World Press. ISBN 1-59221-286-7. 
  10. ^ "Uwais, Akinyemi, Agbakoba to Reform Electoral Process". Thisday (AllAfrica Global Media). 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ibrahim Gambari
Foreign Minister of Nigeria
1985 – 1987
Succeeded by
Ike Nwachukwu