Nigerian Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye, the very first Africa Union Commissioner

My Profile of the week is Nigerian Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye, African Union Commissioner

When the elections of the African Union Commissioners took place last week many held their breadth but not this son of the “Giant of Africa”, Nigeria. In the preselection stage that was organised under the new rules he had a clear passage with the highest marks by any candidate. Then, when it came to voting he received the full 55 votes, i.e., he was unanimously elected. As the saying goes “It is more honourable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other”. The election of Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye as the very first Africa Union Commissioner for newly created department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security for the term 2021-2025, is undoubtedly a case one raised to the throne by merit. Ambassador Adeoye is my profile of the week.
When the Nigerian Government nominated Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye as its candidate for the position of Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security for the term 2021-2025 at the elections schedule to hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February was clear that the giant of Africa had pulled out an “ace card”, a refined and knowledgeable diplomat with long experience and sound knowledge of the African Union.  Amb. Bankole Adeoye is Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and United Nations Commission for Africa.
 Nigerian Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye, the very first Africa Union Commissioner
Ambassador Adeoye is a distinguished career diplomat with over 35 years’ experience in the field of foreign policy and diplomatic practice. He is a Pan-African Career Diplomat; Peace, Security and Sustainable Development Practitioner and Advocate for Africa’s Regional Integration and Partnership. He has served in various strategic national and continental capacities, including as Nigeria’s representative and representative of the AU-PSC.
He served thrice as Chairperson of the African Union Peace & Security Council in 2017, 2018 and 2019. His able leadership and guidance contributed to strengthening the partnership between AU-PSC and UN Security Council and EU Political and Human Security. He was instrumental to the operational take-off of the AU Humanitarian Agency and facilitated durable coalitions with AU Member States with the formation of Group of Friends on Children Affected by Armed
Conflict (CAAC) and AU/UN Partnerships. Amb. Adeoye led the PSC field missions to Lake Chad Basin (2017) and South Sudan (2018).
Nigerian Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye, the very first Africa Union Commissioner
Bankole Adeoye also served in Brazil, from 2003-2007 as a Minister Counsellor in the Nigerian Embassy in Brasilia. While serving at the Mission in Brasilia, he coordinated Nigeria’s economic and cultural relations with Brazil and concurrently with Paraguay and Bolivia. He also actively engaged in the negotiations with the Brazilian Government on Nigeria’s debt restructuring and towards a closer cooperation between Brazil and Nigeria on alternative energy (ethanol).
Amb. Bankole Adeoye is conversant with the inner workings of regional and international systems, particularly the UN and AU. His working experience with the AU has garnered him proficiency in Continental and Multilateral Partnerships. He is highly committed to Pan-African values and the guiding principles of the Africa Union. He understands the nexus between peace, security and sustainable development, which will be needed to steer the formulation and implementation of Political Affairs, Peace and Security polices, programs and strategies in line with the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and other key continental legal and policy frameworks.
Ambassador Bankole Adeoye has served in various capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His love for knowledge is betrayed by the fact he became a Commonwealth / British Council and Chevening Scholar who received the post-graduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Oxford, England in 1991.
In Addis Ababa served the Addis Ababa Diplomatic Community in the capacity of Co-Convener of the Group of Friends on Children affected by Armed Conflict (GoF-CAAC) which was launched in April 2018 in Ethiopia, in partnership with Save the Children Pan African Office.
 Nigerian Ambassador Bankole A. Adeoye, the very first Africa Union Commissioner
Proposed by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) was unanimously adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at their 33rd Assembly in Addis Ababa. This pioneer instrument was chaperoned and navigated through the complex maze of the African Union by none other than Ambassador Adeoye. The CAPAR now stands as the bedrock for our continent’s legal instrument and technical framework for negotiating the return of our stolen assets and illicit capital flights, taken illegally out of our shores and hosted in foreign jurisdictions.
Ambassador Adeoye is discrete and none assuming and amazingly hardworking as if to confirm what the first Earl of Halifax  E. F. L. Wood once said, “Merit is like a river the deeper it is the less noise it makes”.