By Musa Bakare

Ambassador Chief Rotimi Akenson was born in Egbe, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi. He attended the famous Titcombe College Egbe in 1967. In 1972 he attended Government Secondary School, Ilorin for his High School Certificate (HSC).

As a young man, Ambassador Akenson had his early work experience as a teacher at St. Kizitos College, Isanlu and ECWA Secondary School (ESMO), Mopa, Kogi State. In pursuit of tertiary education, Ambassador. Rotimi attended the University of Benin from 1975 to 1978, University of Ife, 1979 to 1980 and University of Jos, 1989 to 1990.

Upon completion of the compulsory National Youth Service in 1979, he was employed at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Lagos as a News Editor/Current Affairs Officer. His love for the Foreign Service could not be dimmed by the allure of journalism, in 1981, after three attempts, he finally joined the then Ministry of External Affairs where he served in various locations and capacities until he was appointed Nigeria’s pioneer High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka.

While in the Foreign Service, Ambassador Rotimi served his country both meritoriously at home and overseas. During his over three decades in the Diplomatic Service, He was posted to Eight Nigerian missions, namely: Canada, Poland, the Philippines, Thailand, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Sri Lanka.

Apart from heading three separate Nigerian Embassies abroad – Portugal, Germany and Sri Lanka – he also held important portfolios as Director, Office of The Minister of Foreign Affairs; Director, Trade and Investment Department; Director, Bilateral Economic Cooperation and conclusion of several Economic and Trade Agreements between Nigeria and numerous countries, including Japan, UAE, Kuwait, Angola, Sri Lanka, Germany, Portugal, U.S.A, etc.

As Head of Mission in Lisbon, he organized the first Nigeria – Portugal Business Forum. As Charge D’Affaires in Berlin he established the Nigerian – German Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 2012, which till date forms the bedrock of Nigerian – German relations.

Since retirement from Public Service

Ambassador (Chief) Rotimi Akenson, a distinguished Okun leader was elected the National President General of the Okun Development Association has contributed genrously to several community development projects that impact positively on the health, education, and socio-economic upliftment of Okun people. He has mentored several generations of Okun youths, many of which he has supported in obtaining public and private sector employment in the country.

Aside from his passion for environmental preservation, this veteran Diplomat also has interest in areas as diverse as cultural activities and property development. Apart from his Chairmanship of the LISATECH Group of Companies, a multiservice outfit.

He is on the board of several fledging companies. He was a two term member of the Joint Advisory Board of the ECWA Hospital, and Pioneer member of the Governing Council of ECWA College of Nursing Sciences, Egbe. Recently, he served as the National Coordinator for the establishment of the study center of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Egbe.

In consideration of his meritorious service to Okunland, Kogi state and his country, His Royal Majesty Oba Ayodele Irukera, the Elegbe of Egbe and Chairman of Yagba West Traditional Council, in October 2015 conferred on him the highly exalted Chieftaincy title of LISA of EGBELAND.

As a leader who has since been instrumental in driving and fostering the development of the Okunland, was overwhelming my elected unopposed and assumed office as the National President General of Okun Development Association (ODA)on Saturday, 9th March, 2024, at the 2024 Annual General Meeting and election of new National Executive Council members at held at Egbe, Yagba West Local Government Areas of Kogi State.

No doubt Ambassador Chief Rotimi Akenson’s leadership qualities are exemplary, and his commitment to the advancement of the Okun people is unwavering. He brings in a wealth of experience and diplomatic skills to his new role, ensuring that the interests of the Okun community are effectively represented on both national and international platforms.

Under his leadership, the Okun Development Association is poised at seeing significant progress in various areas such as politics, education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic development. Ambassador Chief Rotimi Akenson’s strategic vision and dedication to the well-being of his people have earned him respect and admiration from both within and outside the Okun community.

With his election as the National President General, Ambassador Chief Rotimi Akenson has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for the Okun people. His leadership, Okun expects will be marked by inclusivity, transparency, and a strong commitment to serving the their interest, signifying a new chapter of growth and prosperity for the Okunland. His leadership is poised to bring about positive change and development, positioning the Okun people for a brighter future.

Musa Bakare writes from Lokoja, Kogi state

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