Leading foreign relations Think Tank in Africa, the Society for International Relations Awareness, SIRA, has elected human rights activist, labour leader and author, Mr Owei Lakemfa as its new President.
Lakemfa, who for over two decades has run two weekly columns on Nigeria and international affairs in the Vanguard Newspapers, succeeds Professor Nuhu Yaqub, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja and Sokoto State University.
The new Vice President is Colonel Wilson Ijide (retd), former Training Team Leader, Nigerian Army School of infantry with wide experience in international peacekeeping. He has a PhD in Industrial/Organisational Psychology and lectures in the Department of Psychology, and the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan.
Dr Adaora Osondu-Oti, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, was elected the Chairperson of the Editorial/ Publication Committee.
Elected Secretary is Mrs Fatima Mahmud, Lecturer in Political Science and International Relations, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Prof Alade Fawole, a leading foreign affairs expert and author of books like ‘The Illusion of The Post-Colonial State: Governance and Security Challenges in Africa’ and ‘Nigeria’s External Relations and Foreign Policy Under Military Rule: 1966-1999’ was elected the Chairperson of the Research Committee.
Dr Tolu Ifedayo, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, Federal University Oye, Ekiti, (FUOYE), was elected the Financial Secretary.
Mr Oseloka Obaze, former Nigerian diplomat, retired United Nations official and author, was elected Chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee. He had also served from June 2012 to June 2015 as the Secretary to the Government of Anambra State under Governors Peter Obi and Willie Obiano. He is the author of six books, including Waning Strength of Government.
The SIRA new Board of Trustees is chaired by Ambassador Jibrin Chinade. He was Nigerian Ambassador to Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, to the Hague; the Netherlands and the Russian Federation with Concurrent Accreditation to the Commonwealth of Independent States Countries (16 Countries) He was also Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Members of the Board include Prof Emeritus Anthony Asiwaju, historian and leading expert on border issues; Prof. Amadu Sesay, a leading authority on the Economic Community of West African States, and the African Union; Ambassador Abdul Rimdap, at various times Ambassador to Zambia, Austria and Germany, and Ambassador Femi George, former Ambassador to Portugal, ex- High Commissioner to Canada and retired Federal Permanent Secretary. Others are Professor Ayo Dunmoye, long-standing Professor of Political Science and International relations, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Ms. Julie Sanda, Head of Department, Conflict, Peace-Keeping and Humanitarian Studies, National Defence College, and Professor Nuhu Yaqub, the immediate Past President of SIRA.