THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS:
“Maryland Sister States Programme was established in 1980 with a mission to provide a forum for the promotion of international cooperation and understanding. The Programme offers countless opportunities to develop partnership around the world in areas of art, culture, transportation, film, women’s issues, business, education, health care, professional development, sports, law, and more. The Programme oversees an array of international exchanges, promoting a balance of business, educational and cultural interests. At inception, the stated mission of the programme was…”
A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR THE MEDIA IN MARYLAND -USA AND ONDO STATE – NIGERIA, SISTER-STATES PROGRAMME
Being a Text of a Guest Lecture Delivered on Sunday 18th November, 2012 at the Business Network Session of Maryland-USA and Ondo State- Nigeria Sister-States Programme in Akure, Ondo State.
I consider it an honour and a privilege to be invited to give this lecture. I am informed that this is part of the programmes lined up for hosting the top functionaries of Maryland State in the United States of America (USA) who are here to firm up the Sister-States Programme with Ondo State, Nigeria.
Also, let me use this forum to formally congratulate the governor and the good people of Ondo State on the just concluded gubernatorial election. The sustainability and deepening of democracy in Nigeria require the collective responsibility of all citizens. The last election in the state was a model; it was adjudged credible, free and fair.
The organizers of this event asked me to speak on the topic: “The Role of Media in International Relations: A New Opportunity for the Media in Maryland, USA and Ondo State Nigeria Sister-States Programme.” I have decided not to tamper with the topic as it is, even though there is a need for some preliminary conceptual clarification. It should be borne in mind as we drill down the topic that the actors in consideration here are not states, that is, national actors, but sub-national actors. More properly, we should be talking of transnational relations, that is, relations across national boundaries between non-national actors, but not relations between nations.
Having noted that, it is necessary, before examining the role of the media, to profile the actors and the nature of the budding relationship, which is the focus of attention and context of our conversation in this gathering.
The Actors in the Maryland, USA Sister-State Programme
The actors, as everyone here now knows, are Maryland State, USA, and Ondo State, Nigeria.
Maryland State is one of the 50 states of the United States of America. Fondly called The Queen State, the state was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles of England. Located behind the State of Delaware in the eastern coast of the USA, Maryland is dominated by one of the world’s great estuaries, Chesapeake Bay, which divides it into two parts. The bay is navigable, and offers a rich habitat for abundant populations of fish and wildlife. The bay and its harbors provide the right environment for migratory waterfowl, and for harvesting crabs, oysters, and clams. Apart from these natural resources, Maryland has a rich history behind it, as the origin of its name confirms. There the “Star Spangled Banner,” the American national anthem, was authored. It is also blessed with legendary people and great institutions of learning.
Created in 1976 with the capital at Akure, Ondo State has a population of 3, 442, 000 disaggregated into 1,761,263 males and 1,679,761 females, resident in 18 local government areas over 14,788.723 km2 in the south-west of Nigeria. The state has over 880 primary schools, 190 secondary schools and five universities, one polytechnic and one college of education. It is richly endowed in forest and agricultural resources, tourism and culture and abundant human resources, with a people who are lovers of arts, music and literature. Its major economic products include cocoa, coffee, timber, food crops and arts and craft such as carvings, woven textile, mats, etc. Ondo State is also one of the Nigeria’s oil producing states. Its tourist attractions are ancient palaces, museum of antiquities, inland lakes, picturesque hills and mountains, complimented by a highly developed hospitality industry.
Blessed with a democratic government, the state under the able leadership of Dr Olusegun Mimiko seems to be a perfect fit for the sister-state strategic partnership. The 12-point developmental programme of the government as encapsulated in the acronym A CARING HEART provides the fulcrum and a solid foundation for the partnership. Spelt out, the acronym stands for the key pillars of the state’s transformation agenda, namely: agriculture and food security; community-driven city and coastal region renewal and general development initiatives; aggressive capitalization of land resource; roads and Infrastructure; industrialization; no-to-poverty programme; gender equality and women empowerment; health care and housing; education and capacity building; artisanship development and empowerment programme; rural development; and tourism, sports and youth development. This agenda is driven by the vision to make the state the best-administered state in Nigeria, the cynosure of all eyes, the pride of all its citizens, and a state where equity, justice, and fairness is the basis of all governmental action.
Maryland Sister States Programme was established in 1980 with a mission to provide a forum for the promotion of international cooperation and understanding. The Programme offers countless opportunities to develop partnership around the world in areas of art, culture, transportation, film, women’s issues, business, education, health care, professional development, sports, law, and more. The Programme oversees an array of international exchanges, promoting a balance of business, educational and cultural interests. At inception, the stated mission of the programme was:
- to provide international opportunities for Maryland businesses
- to provide information and resources about Sister States and relationships with them
- to provide business and personal contacts at home and abroad
- to foster cultural awareness through exposure and knowledge
- to provide opportunities to travel abroad and to meet international visitors coming to Maryland.
To deliver this mission, programme maintains diplomatic relations with the sister-states; match-makes between Marylanders and the sister- states; works with Marylanders and the sister- states to develop and maintain business, cultural and educational exchanges; hosts and co-sponsors networking and informational events; and serves as a clearinghouse for information and contacts related to the Sister States.
The Programme is established to provide citizens and businesses a unique opportunity to build relationships in other parts of the world. Each Sister State relationship is strategically chosen to enhance the economic, cultural, and educational interests of the people of Maryland. The Sister States Programme provides a forum for economic development, international trade, and increased global understanding. Additionally, the programme promotes cultural understanding through high school, college, and university exchanges, and a variety of cultural and athletic exchanges.
The Media and International Relations
Let us now turn our attention to the role of the media in the sister-state relations between the Maryland and Ondo States of America and Nigeria respectively.
In his book The Fourth Estate, Jeffrey Archer lends us some insights. He recalls that:
In May 1789, Louis XVI summoned to Versailles a full meeting of the ‘Estates General’. The First Estate consisted of three hundred nobles. The Second Estate, three hundred clergy. The Third Estate, six hundred commoners. Some years later, after the French revolution, Edmund Burke, looking up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, said, ‘Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.’
As it was in the 19th century, so it has been, and so it is today. The difference, however, is that the press of that period was without television (TV), radio, the internet and social media; it was print only and technology was crude. Today, when we speak of the media, we are talking of the panoply of networks of private, public, municipal, local, national, international electronic and print media, as well as the Internet with its awesome possibilities for seamless social interaction. The media of today are also driven by rapid-fire changes in technology and in socio-economic, political and environmental developments. Information and communication technology (ICT) is so sophisticated that almost all communication is now instant: there is instant photography; instant (live) TV and radio coverage across the globe; e-this; e-that.
This strategic partnership is expected to benefit significantly from these media appurtenances. In other words, the media as now constituted have all got roles to play in the launch, development, evolution, monitoring, projection, promotion and evaluation of the Maryland-Ondo sister state programme. They are not likely going to re-invent the wheel in the process, but they must creatively adapt themselves and their offerings to the purpose of the strategic partnership. This is to say that while performing their traditional roles, they must appreciate and be guided by the special development needs of the stakeholders, the partners and the programme. What is required of the media in this regard is to be development-focused because this is the principal means by which they could support the success of the sister-state relations, as they perform their time-tested functions and roles of surveillance, cultural transmission, status conferral, agenda setting, interpretation, analysis, etc.
As they function as “communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data or promotional messages are disseminated” (Business Dictionary.com), the media (electronic, print – newspapers, magazines, journals – and the Internet) are expected to inform and educate the people about all aspects of the programme, using both official and open sources to generate information. Where it gets difficult to get information, they are expected to investigate, which is why surveillance is part of their most important roles. It will be their duty to educate the people on the nature, modus operandi, opportunities, benefits and challenges of the programme. Involved essentially in this is a liaison role mirroring and putting in the public domain the goings-on in the operations of the programme and feeding the operators back with the people’s perception of it.
And as the fourth estate of the realm, the surveillance functions of the media include the famed watchdog role whereby they monitor, scrutinize and report the activities of the other realms, and in particular the three arms of government – namely the executive, legislature and judiciary. By so doing, they constantly put fire to the toes of those in authority and even key players in civil society at large. The media are expected to perform this role in respect of the sister-state partnership between Maryland and Ondo States. This is the way for the media to contribute to the execution of the programme in an accountable and transparent manner, in addition to promoting good governance. In doing this, media activities should straddle the operations of both the local and offshore partners. After all, there is no better manifestation of today’s global-village idea than the realm of the media, which have made happenings in any corner of the world an open book. The corollary of such media activism and leveraging is the sharing of information, developments and best practices across borders, with implication for the two countries vicariously involved, that is the USA and Nigeria. This will be in line with the media’s traditional role of promoting good governance, freedom, development, peace and effective interaction among nation-states. And, in an increasingly interdependent world, the media more than other realm have got much to do in fostering understanding and promoting human development across borders. All nations, no matter their economic, military, political, social, or technological status, must as a matter of necessity embrace interrelatedness of states on the basis of mutual benefits. This is so, in that, no nation has monopoly of natural endowments and economic fortunes. Therefore, nations must relate and interact with one another mainly for the promotion of world peace and for overall development of humanity. It is the prerogative of the media to provide the necessary information, explanations, analyses and checks in the conduct of nations and sub-national actors alike as they pursue world peace and other goal-oriented interests, particularly the top-priority concerns of survival and the highest standards of living possible for their citizens, for whose welfare they exist in the first place.
As international actors also seek prestige goals, there is great reliance on the media to promote and project the interests globally. There is no doubt that the success of the sister-state relations between Maryland in the USA and Ondo in Nigeria will rub off not only on their prestige but also the international standing of their respective countries. It is common knowledge that prestige and respect goes with a high profile international status, which is why nations want to be seen as powerful, resourceful and big. A nation that is perceived as such is always accorded due respect in international system. Masby (1970), lends credence to this where he notes that “Prestige is normally the consequence of the possession of power of whatever dimension, political economic, military, and its presence is very likely to enhance the influence of the state possessing it”. But how does the world get to know about the success, power and prestige of international actors? It is through the ubiquitous power of the media. Ronald Reagan, a former president of the USA, attests to this in his autobiography An American Life thus: “If the press does not tell us, who will?”
Before leaving this section it is necessary to examine the Nigerian press. In Nigeria’s chequered history, the press has come a long way since the colonial period. Indeed, it has served as a vanguard for nationalism during the colonial era, agent of national cohesion, unity and oneness during the Nigerian civil war, national conscience during military rule and sustainer of democracy under civil rule. In other words, the Nigerian press is always available at every turn in the nation’s history. In fact, it is safe to say that it has exemplified the best in our sense of nationalism and patriotism in carrying out its roles. However, the Nigerian press has been subjected to all manner of harassment, particularly under military rule. This has always been done in different guises such as closure of publishing houses, seizure and banning of publications, detention and, in extreme cases, outright assassination of journalists.
All these have made journalist’s work highly risky. Yet, journalists must be determined and courageous in spite of intimidation because journalism is a noble profession whose practitioners must not compromise standards and their integrity. Still, the Nigerian media must brace themselves up in this matter of Maryland-Ondo sister-state relations to set agenda, act as the people’s advocate, watch, and even project themselves as bona fide stakeholders. In this context, they must bear in mind that society, with its politics, is created, sustained and modified through communication, which is why Hague and Harrop noted that “Without a continuous exchange of information, attitudes and values neither society nor politics would be possible. That certainly is an onerous media responsibility.
In the context of the programme, the media must perform its major role of agenda setting conscientiously, raising issues for stakeholders to think about, debate and take action upon in deliberate pursuit of the partnership’s interests as well as the benefits of the citizenry of the two states. It should be noted that the majority of the people depend on the media for information and insights in taking many of their day –to-day economic, political and social decisions. Since the partnership will cut across all sectors, it is incumbent on the media to assist the people in contributing to fashioning out the best agenda for the programme. As important stakeholders in the new strategic partnership between the two states, the media should make themselves relevant in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the programme’s policies. This should be done through effective information dissemination to the people to keep them informed of the programmes and policies of government concerning the partnership. And as the unfailing watchdogs, ensuring that the partnership is beneficial to the two parties, the media must always critically examine the terms of the agreement, analyze its implementation and uncover any buried skeletons for the people’s scrutiny. The media’s role as the people’s advocate is as equally important to ensure that the goal of the partnership is realized. Because the people are generally weak in developing countries in challenging the excesses of government, the media are expected to come to the rescue to see to it that both parties are kept to the terms of agreement, using objective critiques, editorials, features, special reports, interviews, debates, opinion surveys, etc. to promote general public interest.
It is necessary at this juncture to note that the media may be unable to perform all these roles for the evolving strategic partnership if it is not independent and free. I must say that the Mimiko-led government in Ondo State is media-friendly. Therefore, all the identified roles of the media can be performed unhindered in the state. This will be highly beneficial to the partnership.
I wish to add that there are some basic attributes expected of media practitioners to be able to play the expected roles effectively and efficiency. I shall identify five of them. One is education. A person who wants to give a good report of an event, situation or organization must be knowledgeable about his/her subject. It is axiomatic that a purveyor of information must himself be well informed. Journalists and other media men, as a matter of necessity, must have both formal and informal education. Self-development represents an informal education but this can come through personal will and willingness to learn, devoid of a know-it-all attitude and cover-up of ignorance.
Courage is another imperative. This is required for objective, fair and fearless reportage of issues and events. Specifically, on the evolving strategic partnership between the two states, media men must see it as a partnership between two equal states regardless of the differing economic, social, political and technological standing of each state. Cognizant that their profession is a risky one, they should be prepared for blackmail and even physical attacks if blackmail fails. The purpose is to frustrate them from following a particular line of action that may lead to hidden facts. Objectivity is also of the essence. This calls for self-confidence, transparent personal integrity, and uncommon independence of mind when reporting issues and events. It is incumbent on such media practitioner to divorce himself from issues, events and personalities when they are the subjects of his professional assignments. He must be above board and must not compromise his position. He must be factual, balanced and detailed in his reportage of issues and events. The report must be unbiased, devoid of sensationalism and praise singing. A good dose of diplomacy will always serve him well in today’s complex society and its oddity of issues. Owing to this, media men need political correctness, emotional intelligence and diplomatic astuteness to meaningfully make a success of the assignments.
What we have done in this conversation is to amplify the relevance of media to international relations, with particular reference to the budding sister-state relations between Maryland State of the USA and Ondo State of Nigeria. It is noted that the media are crucial, in today’s world, to all kinds of relations among nations, sub-national entities and all actors in the international or transnational scene, for the mutual benefits of all stakeholders and world peace at large. It has been articulated that media work, particularly the journalism aspect, is noble, but highly risky. For this reason, only the courageous and bold dabble into it. But this is a programme that is expected to accelerate the economic development of Ondo State, promote its culture, improve on the health sector and advance the knowledge of the people. Because of the accruable benefits from the Maryland Sister-State Programme, media men have been encouraged to lend their full support with consummate professionalism, knowing that their commitment will be reciprocated with a free environment guaranteed by government. On that note, I will leave the media, including citizen journalists a la social media, with this caveat also from Ronald Reagan in the same book referred to earlier:
A free press is as vital to America as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A probing, responsible press not only keeps the public informed about what is going on in government, it can keep a watchful eye to uncover corruption, waste and mismanagement. A free and aggressive press corps is essential to the core of our democracy. …But with this freedom comes a special responsibility to be accurate and fair.
Prepared by FEMI OMOTOSO PhD Associate Professor,
Department of Political Science, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Cell: +234 8033721755, E-mail : [email protected]
Post by Tunde Fajimbola and Olusiji Balogun
A Phenomenon at 50
Hitting the age of 50 is a landmark and a milestone to be celebrated. Fifty years and still counting, Aremo Olusiji Balogun, is a phenomenon and a case study in humanity.
He is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria among others. He is the Founder of Ase Youth Association and several other organisations.
His company Promec Innovative Concepts was a child of necessity when his attempt to register Prince Royal Media Concept (Promec) at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) met a brick wall.
Olusiji Balogun is a media guru and an organizational growth and business development expert with adaptable skills. He is able to use own initiative or work as part of a team. An efficient and effective Human Resources Manager, community worker, excellent communicator at all levels within and outside organizations; he has good problem solving and analytical skills with pioneering spirit.
Olusij’s specific interests include teaching and learning for new product development, business development, participatory social activities, keen insight into the needs of others and with high energy, initiative and focus, proven leadership skills including managing and motivating others to achieve objectives.
An effective community and social worker, he is fluent with information technology and capable of handling executive assignments and leadership. His other qualities include being positive with potential ideas, he has the ability to work with anyone under any condition or situation and contribute greatly to achieving the best goals of the establishment.
Oluwasijibomi Gideon Balogun was born on the 8th September, 1972 in Ondo town to the family of Samuel Olusegun Balogun and Mrs Grace Remilekun Balogun of Ase Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State. Both parents are retired Civil Servants. Olusiji was raised up with strong Christian virtue.
He had his early education at St. Luke’s Primary School, Akure but finished at Muslim Primary School, Ikaram Akoko, all in Ondo State, where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. He subsequently earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1990 after attending Omoluorogbo Grammar School, Akure before proceeding to Ala Community Comprehensive High School, Ala-Elefosan, Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He also attended the Institute of Journalism and Nigerian Institute of Journalism, (NIJ), Akure Campus for his Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations, after a sojourn at Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) briefly in the Institute of Science Laboratory Technology. He also went to Akwa-Ibom State Polytechnic, for his Higher National Diploma in Business Administration.
He later proceeded to the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State for his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration.
He is a Member of various professional bodies.
After leaving school, Olusiji started working as a freelance Journalist and Printer. He started Eminent Leaders Magazine in 1996 and registered Prince Royal Media Concepts with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), in 1999 which he upgraded to Eminent Leaders World Communications Limited publisher of Eminent Leaders magazine.
He worked with several organisations where he left indelible footprints of punctuality, hard work and professionalism. He worked with Mentors Communications, Abuja in different capacities. At Mentors Communications, he was the pioneer Editor of Rootswatch Magazine. He was Technical Assistant to the Managing Director of Quarry Managers Company in Abuja, headed by the late Abdulhakeem Amao. He was Special Event Manager with ITAD/MotMacdonald/PWC in Calabar and Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSRP) in Abuja. Both projects under the Integrated Water Resource Management European Commission.
He also had a stint with Hatlab Delight as a Business Development Manager and Head of Administration, O.T. Otis Engineering Limited. He resigned his appointment with Successory Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as Head of Project Management, in year 2019 to move his outfit forward.
Olusiji Balogun experience in politics is vast. His team helped installed Olusegun Agagu and Olusegun Mimiko as Ondo State Governors. He was the nucleus of Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation for his second term when he was Editor of Grassroots Vanguard Newspaper of Grassroots Network.
He attempted to contest for the coveted seat of Ondo State Governor in 2020.
His experience in administration is versed as he is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Full Member Institute of Professional Administrators and Managers (IPMA) and many other professional bodies. He is a partner in many companies and Chief Executive Officer of Promec Innovative Entrepreneurship and Science Academy (PIESA) and several other firms.
He currently has his hand in farming as he started Ase Farms Nigeria Limited, asefarms.com.ng.
His hobby includes travelling, reading, surfing the internet and adventures.
Ambassador Bayo Lawal Appointed American Diplomatic Representative in Brazil Ambassador Bayo Lawal, is truly a chip off the block. Born in Osogbo, Osun State of Nigeria, into the royal house of Olumodi Oyipiloye and Asuni Compound (Maternal) Osogbo. Bayo Lawal has become the first Nigerian to receive an American diplomatic status in Brazil. At a diplomatic ceremony held on the 17th of December, 2021 in the executive auditorium of the State Legislative Council, Saopaulo , Brazil, the American Government, through its Diplomatic Mission of International Relations (ADMIR) sworn In Ambassador Bayo Lukman Lawal as one of its appointed diplomatic representatives of the American diplomatic mission in Brazil. The humanitarian and diplomatic mission , which for the first time, included a Nigerian living in Brazil, inaugurated other important personalties in Brazil as members of its humanitarian project scheduled for Africa and Europe in the year 2022. Bayo Lawal is from a royal and polygamous house where hardwork is the hallmark. Though born by a successful business man popularly known as “Were Nise Oluwa”, Bayo Lawal has been a focused, hard-working and persevering youngman. His stint with the Osun State Board of Internal Revenue after his days at The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, set him in a progress pedestal. At the Board of Internal Revenue, his hardworking nature, made him a darling of all. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, before leaving the shores of Nigeria, originated the idea of honouring women in Nigerian society in 1999, tagged “Women Entrepreneur Merit Award” organised by Spotlight Media Ventures. He was then the PRO and Reporter for the firm. Ambassador Bayo Lawal and other personalities like the notable former Brazilian football captain, Capitão Cafu , the Saopaulo State First Lady, Mrs. Bia Doria, the Director of Federal Police, the Honorable speaker of the House of Assembly in Saopaulo , Representatives from several African and European countries witnessed the event. According to the President of the mission in Brazil, Dr. Fernando Navarro, the principal function of the American diplomatic mission of International relations is simple, it is humanitarian, it is helping to make the world a better place to live, he said the mission is to combat hunger and help the needy. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, who has lived in Brazil for over twenty years has worked in different functions in the international relations, he is an administrator who has led his team of excellent professionals within and outside Brazil. He is the presently the CEO of Mab Consulting Services, an International Trade and Business Development company with spread in the South America, Africa, China, USA, Europe and UAE. Bayo Lawal, who served as a Business Consultant at Grupo Empresarial Costa Negocios, taught courses in several English Schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was Business English Teacher For Executives between 1999 – 2014. He worked at the Costa Negocios Group, FGV Projetos, Bimex Comercial Ltda., and many others. In his interview with Heritage news, Ambassador Lawal said “I am dedicating my achievements in Brazil to the Almighty God and also to my late parents, Prince Yekeen Lawal and Mrs. Bolanle Lawal. I also owe this success to my family in Brazil , my friends and colleagues who are always by me.” Ambassador Bayo Lawal said he is ready to work with all humanitarian organizations in Nigeria and overseas, using his office as an ambassador to help better the standards of every Nigerian, African immigrants in Brazil and around the world. He promised to lead projects of housing estates to Osogbo and other necessary locals in Nigeria.Ambassador Bayo Lawal is married to an Italian descendant Brazilian, Mrs. Sara Guerino Lawal and blessed with three children; Nathalie Mariam Oyenike Lawal, Derick Afeez Oyewale Lawal and Allan Khalil Babatunde Lawal.
Iyalaje Tolulola Olajibike Bayode was born in Akure and hails from Oba-Ile. She’s the daughter of Chief Joseph Bayode and Pastor Mrs Bayode.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, RN, BSN, MD, is a trained medical professional but with an unusual passion for the well-being of the less privileged. Having travelled far and wide,Tolulola share an uncanny obsession of giving abandoned children and widows another shot at life,employing both her professional training and God given resources in assisting the less privileged at will leading her to initiating Dorian Home for Displaced Children & Mothers Initiative.
The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council appointed this Akure born philanthropist Dr. Tolulola Bayode as Head, Social Affairs and Health Cluster Committee. The job description entails implementing the overall goals of the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio in line with the AU Agenda 2063, Sets annual performance targets for the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio and report on annual progress to Specialized Technical Committees and AU Policy Organs.
In 2009, Dr.Bayode established Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development as a Non-governmental Organization (NGO). She’s the CEO/ President. Her personal encounter and experience in the course of discharging her professional duties, most especially in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) Camps, Community/Rural Medical Outreach programs, just to mention a few, afforded her a first-hand and comprehensive understanding of the plethora of unsavoury plights of women and children in our society.
Dorian Home is the biggest orphanage home in Africa, consisting of 700 homes for children,500-capacity skill acquisition centre for women, large hall for events, modern clinic and a worship centre. Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development is situated at Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Described as the biggest orphanage home in Africa, the ultramodern facility worth $5million and was finally commissioned on the 14th of October 2021.
Dorian Home is not limited to taking care of just abandoned babies and widows but also focused on research, training, empowerment and mobilize women towards self-emancipation. A glamorous persona imbued with the philosophy of giving hope to the hopeless, creating a better living condition for the abandoned, Tolulola is in the forefront of Safe Haven Law in Nigeria – the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state with proper upbringing.
At the commissioning of the home, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice-President of Nigeria, called for the provision of adequate welfare for vulnerable children and women in the society. The vice president commended Bayode for making provision of the basic needs of homeless children and women her passion. He said that about nine per cent of Nigerian children were homeless; a figure Osinbajo said seems to be growing rapidly. The vice president, however, called on well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the government to provide adequate care for the homeless children, saying that government alone could not do it. Osinbajo described the laudable project as one that would stand the test of time for the less privileged and empowerment for women in society.
During her speech, the Founder and President of Dorian Home, Dr Tolulola Bayode, said that vision of the project was about leaving a legacy of hope for the orphaned children, widows and less privileged women in the society. According to Bayode, reality dawned on her after the shocking demise of her elder brother, the purpose of man on earth is to touch life and uplift humanity. Bayode said the covenant she had with God to have the home was based on her love for humanity, widow, indigent and displaced children to live a better life. She also appealed to the government to provide adequate security checkpoints along Akure/Idanre Road, adding that the future of any child should not be toiled with. She emphasised that not that she has the resources but has a heart of giving.
Represented at the ocassion, was the governor of Ondo State represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Ayadatiwa, who said that the project compliment the administration’s REDEEM agenda of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He commended the Founder of the home for her initiative. Akeredolu described the project as unique because it focus on the neglected section of the society. Akeredolu said the project would receive the support and patronage of the state government. He said the state government would continue to support the social initiative programmes of the Dorian Home.
Also, speaking at the ocassion, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, urged people to emulate the kind gesture that counts for the good of humanity by trying to make the society a better place for humanity. Alasoadura said that Nigeria would be a better place, if everyone tried to provide a home like heaven on Earth, especially for the displaced and indigent children, just as the orphanage.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, as a natural social and talented care giver has continually provided training, education and health consultations in the non-profit entrepreneurial sector to youths in different parts of the world and has successfully maneuvered the delicate balance between dedication to mission in a wide range of settings. Aside her passion for the creating a better living for commoners, she has years of extensive managerial experience in the non-profit sector, with outstanding records in getting initiatives off the ground and flourishing.
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