Akeredolu, Obaze ‘twin brothers’ across the Niger. – an apple cleft into two?
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his look alike, Mr. Henry Oseloka Obaze, the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in November 11, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State are not in any way related in spite of their striking resemblance.
While Akredolu was born in Owo to Reverend J. Ola Akeredolu of the Akeredolu family and Lady Evangelist Grace B. Akeredolu of Aderoyiju family of Igbotu, Ese Odo, in Ondo State; Obaze was born on April 7,1955 in Ogidi, Anambra State, he is a native of Ochuche Umuodu, in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
However, anyone who does not have these facts would either mistake them as twin brothers, or Akeredolu, could easily pass as Obaze’s younger brother, being one year younger; as he was born on July 21, 1956. Akeredolu, an accomplished professional a the lawyer who rose to become the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Before he joined politics, he had served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo State from 1997–1999. He was also a Managing Partner at the Law Firm of Olujinmi & Akeredolu, firm he cofounded with Chief Akin Olujinmi, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Nigeria.
He was also Chairman of the Legal Aid Council between 2005 and 2006. His wife, Betty Akeredolu, who he met during his National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Enugu, is from Imo State. However, Obaze, who is married to Dr. Ofunne Omo Obaze a physician, is a former United Nations official (1991-2012) and also a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service (1982-1991).
A seasoned international civil servant, diplomat, strategic policy advisor and administrator ,Obaze was appointed to the United Nations Secretariat by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar Javier on 1 March 1991, as a Political Affairs Officer in the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs (PSCA) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Obaze was the Secretary to the State Government (Anambra State, Nigeria) from June 29, 2012 to June 8, 2015 He is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Selonnes Consult Ltd., a management and strategic policy advisory entity and OHO & Associates, a good governance advocacy outfit. He assumed duties on June 9th, 2015. The November 11 governorship election in Anambra State will determine i
Obaze will like ‘younger brother’ Akeredolu unseat the ruling party to clinch the Anambra governorship seat.
However, in this brief chat, onthe issue, Obaze (OHO) said: ”At first my friends brought the fact of our semblance to me, some even suggested that we look like identical twins. Well what do I do? I took time to look at him closely and observed the fact myself. Well, when we observe certain things in creation and nature, we marvel at what a great craftsman God is.
Such things as close resemblance of people that are genetically wide apart, reinforce our common fatherhood that should positively awaken the spirit of universal brotherhood in us, before which things that separate us should be discarded for things that enhance our humanity and aid the growth and development of our country. ”Our resemblance is striking not just from what my friends and I observed, but I have severally been greeted at the airport and some public fora as ”His Excellency.” I took time explaining and even joking about it as “my brother from a different mother.”
Somebody has facetiously asked me if my father ever lived in Ondo State. ”On sharing the same passion, I think most politicians should not just ideally do, but should live it out by always understanding that leadership is about service. Look, those that govern states are like criminals condemned to death, the only difference is that while one suffers the punishment of his crime, the other suffers for the good of others.
Once we understand this, politics will be less attractive because to serve is actually to make sacrifices… Having served the world at the highest level, my only passion is to commit the rest of my life by deploying my experience to the service of my people.”
NT: Have you met him? OHO: ”We met virtually, not in person. A visiting bishop from Ondo met me at a reception in Awka and initially mistook me for Rotimi. On realizing I was not Rotimi, he promptly asked if we could take a photograph which he emailed to him with the caption “I found your twin brother in Awka”. Rotimi called him back and we exchanged brief pleasantries over the phone.” However, efforts to get Obaze’s ‘twin’s’ reaction proved abortive as Governor Akeredolu could not be reached.
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.