Review: Ojo Olatunde, colossus architect at 59

When Ojo Amos Olatunde became Acting Clerk of the National Assembly on July 17, 2020, many observers of National Assembly affairs believed that it was the timely dictate of providence that was at work. It was so because its emergence was brutal, like the exit of its predecessor.

As the highest-ranking officer after the former Clerk of the National Assembly, Olatunde, who over the years has built an enviable reputation as a brain architect, has responded in typical fashion to the challenges that come with the office. of the Chief Bureaucrat of the National Assembly of Nigeria.

Then, less than three months later, the Commission for Services to the National Assembly, in its own wisdom, cemented his appointment as the titular Clerk of the National Assembly on August 30, 2020.

By rising to the zenith of his career, given the bottlenecks in his path, Olatunde has demonstrated that he is nothing but a colossus.

For the benefit of readers, who may not know the meaning of the word colossus, I travel here in the past. The word was used by Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian and geographer from the Greek city of Halicarnassus, which was part of the Persian Empire, to describe large Egyptian statues. Herodotus is known for writing a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars, known as the Histories. The gigantic statue of Apollo erected at the entrance to the port of Rhodes is a typical example of a colossus. Therefore, an extremely important and influential figure is a colossus; anything of an impressive manner or vastness could be called a colossus.

At 59, Ojo Olatunde Amos has indeed turned into a colossus. He is the first professional architect to be appointed Clerk of the National Assembly in the history of the country’s highest legislative body. With two years in the saddle as Clerk of the National Assembly, Olatunde has tapped deep into his intellectual reservoir to provide fantastic leadership. For the first time, the digitization and streaming of plenary sessions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate was effectively achieved under his leadership.

The legislative assistants, who previously encountered difficulties with the payment of their “first twenty-eight days” within the National Assembly, received their alerts in record time.

It is common knowledge that budgetary allocations to the National Assembly stagnated for many years, and instead of succumbing helplessly to the reality of lack of funds to manage the complex’s bureaucratic affairs, Olatunde carefully looked inward. by drastically reducing overhead costs in running the day-to-day activities of the National Assembly.

A fervent supporter of staff training and retraining and a builder of human infrastructure, he represents a huge victory for parliamentary democracy, given his legendary way of managing the scarce resources available.

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Born on February 14, 1963 in the Ilobu-Asake family in Osun State. Olatunde did his primary and secondary education in llobu. He was one of Ilobu’s top students during his school years. He graduated with flying colors and gained admission to the prestigious University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he obtained his first degree in architecture; he later added a master’s degree in architecture from the same institution.

As an architect by training, Olatunde excelled in his chosen field. When he joined the National Assembly as a staff member in 2004 as Chief Architect of the then newly created Department of Estates and Works, Olatunde got to work and remarkably turned things around. His strong appetite for official missions and the energy he put into his duties enabled him to accede to the post of Permanent Secretary of the National Assembly, from where he was appointed Clerk of the National Assembly.

At work, the architect Olatunde has demonstrated that he is one of the ardent defenders of the well-being and professionalism of workers. It is to his credit that a new memorandum of understanding has been concluded positively for the staff of the National Assembly. He believes that dialogue with staff can be built through a more constructive stable relationship, hence the level of peace and tranquility that can currently be achieved in the National Assembly.

Olatunde proved the pundits, who he wouldn’t play before when he was appointed, wrong. His successor will have to redouble his efforts to surpass what he has accomplished so far as Clerk of the National Assembly in our climate.

Undoubtedly, this architect believes in cleaning up all discussions, taking meaningful steps at the same time and has made himself one of the most visible emblems of parliamentary democracy in Nigeria.

I join other well-meaning Nigerians in wishing architect Ojo Olatunde Amos many happy returns on this special occasion of his birthday!

  • Adesoro Austen is the Special Advisor on Media and Labor to the Clerk of the National Assembly

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