On Tuesday, 19th January, Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant on Digital/New Media to Buhari, announced the President’s approval for the appointment of Mfawa Omini Abam as the county’s ambassador-designate to Italy. The posting comes six months after Senate’s confirmation of the list of ambassador-designate submitted by the president.

While the flurry of encomiums and congratulatory messages continue to pour in, it is expedient to briefly look at Abam’s pedigree. He has held numerous leadership positions (both national and international) and garnered experiences that validates his competencies.

He was born on the 25th April, 1964 in Ugep, South South Nigeria. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, having earlier obtained a Bachelor of Arts(Hon) in French from the same institution in 1987. He is also a holder of a Certificate of the Nigeria Foreign Service ; he attended the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy, Lagos, Nigeria in 1993/1994. In addition, he acquired a professional Diplome D’ Etudes Franchises of the L ‘Universite De Darkar, Senegal in 1986.

Prior to his current appointment, Abam rose to the position of Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria. He began his public service career in 1988 as a French teacher at Holy Child Secondary School, Ikom, Cross River State, Nigeria. He left in 1993 to join the Nigerian foreign service and held his first position as Third Secretary at Foreign Service Academy of Nigeria, Lagos. Barely a year later, he was elevated to Second Secretary, Protocol Department (Operations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja. He had his first stint at protocol duties when in 1996 he was appointed Protocol Liaison officer to the Chief of General Staff, Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position he held until 1998. The experience garnered here provided him the opportunity to further serve as Chief Protocol Officer to the Wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007-2010), and Director of Protocol to the Wife of the Acting President of Nigeria (2010-2011), and similarly as Director of Protocol to the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 respectively.

At this point, Mfawa Abam has developed profound interest in issues relating to politics, gender-humanitarian and the broad spectrum of international relations, hence his appointment as Third Secretary (on Attachment) Embassy of Nigeria, Cotonou, Republic of Benin between 1998-2000. This was again evident in his appointment as Counsellor/Head of Chancery, Embassy of Nigeria, Tel-Aviv, Isreal from 2003- 2007.

Between September 2018 and May 2019, he was posted to a bigger Nigerian diplomatic mission as Minister/Head of Political Department of the Embassy of Nigeria, Washington DC, USA. Before then he was Minister/Head of Chancery in the same Embassy from 2016-2018.

From 2015 to 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Director, Appointments, Promotions, Establishment and Discipline Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja. Before then , he served as Assistant Director, First United Nations Division ( International Organisations Department), Ministry of Foreign Affairs from March 2013 to December 2013.

Vastly experienced in International politics, he has participated in various negotiation sessions as the Personal Assistant to the Special Presidential Envoy on Conflict Resolutions and ECOWAS Special Representative on Cote ‘D Voire and the Mano River Union.

Mfawa Abam is passionate about lawn tennis and other sports and also enjoys reading, traveling and listening to music. He is married to Ifeoma Uzoamaka Abam and they are blessed with three children.

Etim, Ubi John
Public Commentator.

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