DR. OTIVE IGBUZOR:
A PROFILE OF SERVICE AND PATRIOTISM
The fifth day of September 1963 did not come and go without leaving an impact on humanity. That month of September was sandwiched between two historic events that were attended by euphoria. The first was the creation of the Midwest Region in August 1963 through a plebiscite (the only one till date in Nigeria’s history), while the second was the attainment of republican status by Nigeria in October of that eventful year. Historians and social scientists have dubbed that epoch as Nigeria’s finest. And they were right! Nigeria had shaken off the yoke of imperialism and embraced freedom three years earlier and the new nation bore signs of an entity that was poised to rediscover the world and endow it with a new destiny that can only be apprehended in positive terms. In retrospect, many scored that period as the best time to be born.
It was in the foregoing ambience of nationalistic ferment, visionary alignment, limitless possibilities and ‘can do’ spirit that a baby boy uttered his first earthly cry on 5th September 1963 in the then dim, but edenic landscape of Ugono-Orogun. That child got christened Otivere, and he is today’s Dr. Otive Igbuzor, undoubtedly one of the highly accomplished in the generation born after Nigeria’s independence.
Otive hails from a long line of worthy ancestors who stood to be counted in their time. Particularly, he proceeded from the loins of Mr. Igbuzor Eruemukohwarien Etiemonu of Emonu-Orogun and Ugono-Orogun respectively in the present Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. His mother was Mrs. Omohwovo Igbuzor from Ugono-Orogun and Kokori (in Ethiope East Local Government Area also of Delta State). Both parents have long gone the way of all mortals. They were disciplinarians who brought him up to cherish virtues. This parental background imbued the young Otive with the ideals of hard work, fairness, moderation, hope and charity.
Otive’s parents were conscious of the near magical propensity of education. It was for this that they cleared the path that opened up to western education for their precocious lad. Otive entered Ugono Primary School in Ugono-Orogun in 1970 and finished in 1976 with remarkably high grades. He proceeded to Baptist High School at Eku in 1976. At the end of the first academic session, he created a stir with an unparalleled academic performance that enthralled both staff and students. For that unprecedented intellectual feat, he was awarded double promotion which enabled him to skip class two and moved straight to class three. Hence, he spent only four years in secondary school instead of five that was the norm then. He sat for the then West African School Certificate Examination in 1980 and came out in Division One, a very rare academic achievement. The story of his academic excellence, diligence and level-headedness rank high on the counseling menu of his former teachers and old schoolmates. The lure for more academic laurels took him to the famous Government College, Ughelli for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) programme. However, he did not complete the run as he was offered admission into the University.
The portals of university education opened for the teenage Otive in 1981 when the University of Benin admitted him to study for a degree in Pharmacy. His strong scholarly trait was affirmed when he graduated with a Second Class Upper Division with Honours in 1986. Not done with the quest for the rainbow-tinted dream, Otive migrated far North and anchored at the University of Maiduguri then famous for its sublime intellectual outlook. Otive embarked on an academic roller coaster at UNIMAID as he acquired a chain of higher degrees in rapid succession. He obtained the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in 1992, and then the Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Political Science and International Relations in 1997. He acquired the ultimate academic laurel by obtaining the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Public Administration in 2004.
The University of Benin made a brilliant pharmacist of Otive. On graduation in 1986 he underwent his pupilage as a pharmacist at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) from 1986 to 1987. Between 1987 and 1988 he was at Awo-Omamma Community Hospital in Imo State for the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. After the NYSC, he returned to the ancient city of Benin as a Superintendent Pharmacist at Oliha Chemist then one of the most reputable pharmaceutical outlets in Nigeria.
Otive’s Pan-Nigerian spirit saw him relocating to Maiduguri the capital of Borno State in 1989. Again, he worked as a Superintendent Pharmacist at Curtis Peoples Pharmaceutical Chemist Ltd. After two years there, he felt it was time to move on. Thus in 1991 he ventured into the risky world of entrepreneurship by setting up his own pharmaceutical company known as Francotive Pharmacy Ltd. He made a great success of the company in no time. It was at that point that he honed his now widely acknowledged administrative and managerial skills.
As a practicing pharmacist, Otive reached the zenith of the profession’s aspirations. He was the founding Secretary of the Nigerian Association of General Practice Pharmacist (NAGPP) now Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) in Borno State. His sterling performance earned him the chairmanship of the association. Otive’s rise in the pharmaceutical guild was quite meteoric as a result of his uncommon commitment to service. He later served as the General Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Borno State. Otive was in the vanguard of the campaign against fake drugs and drug abuse. He carried the banner of professionalism and ethics aloft.
In recognition of his distinguished service to the pharmaceutical sector, the Borno chapter of PSN gave him a merit award. However, in spite of his passion and contribution to the development of the sector, Otive embarked on the path of career change and opted for a broader and more proactive platform through which he can holistically contribute to national development and help Nigeria realize the aspiration that heralded the birth of his generation during the republican aura of 1963.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST
Dr. Otive Igbuzor is an acclaimed human rights and democracy activist. He was a founding and leading member of some of the foremost human rights and pro-democracy groups in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s including the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP), Women in Nigeria (WIN), and Democratic Alternative (DA). He is also the initiator of League of Delta Patriotic Deltans (LPD), a body that has been agitating for good governance in Delta State. Dr. Igbuzor was at the barricades during the titanic struggle against military dictatorship. He remains a crusader against misrule, exploitation, oppression, poverty, injustice and other indices which degrade humanity. A tested advocate of change, Dr. Igbuzor’s views are highly sought after as they provide valid standpoints for public opinion. He is a well respected commentator in the electronic media.
Dr. Igbuzor is an intellectual who earned a doctorate by cerebral labour. He is the activist-scholar per excellence. He was a lecturer at the Delta State University (Lagos Centre) from 1991-2001. A scholar’s scholar, he is also an accomplished researcher whose probing and revelatory essays have appeared in books as well as in foreign and indexed journals. His research interest is quite catholic covering diverse fields like democracy, gender, politics, economics, development, etc. His publication profile is a testimony to his critical and fecund mind. Some of his publications include:
(A) JOURNAL ARTICLES
1. “Reflections on Allison Ayida’s Proposal on the Reform of the Nigerian Civil Service” in The Nigerian Social Scientist Vol. 1. No.1 September, 1998.
2. “Drugs Abuse in the Family” in Hudraw Bulletin Vo. 1 No. 1, April, 1999.
3. “Implementation of Refugee Policy in Nigeria (1989 – 1994)” in The Valiant Vol. 28 September, 1999
4. “Methodological Issues in Gender Studies in Nigeria” in The Nigerian Social Scientist Vol. 13. No. 1 March, 2000.
5. “Perestroika and its Impact on Africa” in The Valiant Vol. 30, No. 2 July- December, 2001.
6. “Constitutional Reform in Nigeria: Perspectives from Civil Society” in The Valiant Vol. 30, No. 2 July-December, 2001.
7. “The State of Education in Nigeria” in The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Economic Indicators, Vol. 12, No.3 July-September, 2006.
8. “A Review of Niger Delta Human Development Report” in The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Economic Indicators, Vol. 12, No.4 October –December, 2006
9. “Community Pharmacists Participation in Health Related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” in The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2009. Pages 22-26.
10. “MDG, Food and Agriculture” in MDG Review Http:www.mdg-review.org
11. “Peace and Security Education: A Critical Factor for Sustainable Peace and National Development” in International Journal of Peace and Development Studies (IJPDS), Vol. 2 (1), pp 32-34, January, 2011.
(B) CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
12. With Kole Ahmed Shettima “Women and Cost of Health Services” in the Book of Abstract of the 63rd Annual Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos.
13.”Constitution Making in Nigeria: Lessons for Making a People’s Constitution” in Proceedings of the Conference on Constitutional Development held in Kibuye, Rwanda from 12-24 August, 2001.
(C) EDITED BOOKS.
14. With Ololade Bamidele Contentious Issues in the Review of the 1999 Constitution. Lagos: Citizens’ Forum for Constitutional Reform.
15. With Jibrin Ibrahim (2005) A Citizens Approach to Making a Peoples’ Constitution in Nigeria. Lagos: Citizens’ Forum for Constitutional Reform.
16. With Kayode Fayemi (2005), Poverty Eradication in Nigeria: Perspectives on a Participatory and Pro-Poor Approach. Lagos: Centre for Democracy and Development.
17. With Jibrin Ibrahim (2009), Can Nigeria Meet the Millennium Development Goals in 2015? Abuja: Centre for Democracy and Development.
18. Perspectives on Democrary and Development. Lagos: Joe-Tolalu & Associates, 2005
19. Challenges of Development in Nigiera (2009). Lagos: Robitos Alliance Publishers.
20. Political Succession in Nigeria (2011). Abuja: African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development.
21. Alternative Development Strategy for Nigeria (2011). Abuja: African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development.
(D) CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
22. “Making Democracy Work in Nigeria: The Civil Society and Constitutional Reform” in Breaking Barriers, Creating New Hopes: Democracy, Civil Society and Good Governance in Africa. Edited by Abdalla Bujra and Said Adejumobi. Trenton, NJ, Africa World press.
23. “Fiscal Federalism and Resource Control in Nigeria” in Contentious Issues in the Review of the 1999 Constitution (2002) Edited by Otive Igbuzor and Ololade Bamidele Lagos: CitizenS’ Forum for Constitutional Reform.
24. “Constitution Making in Nigeria: Historical Perspective” in Gender Gaps in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (2003) Edited by Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi. Lagos: Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre.
25. “Privatisation in Nigeria: Critical Issues of Concern to Civil Society” in Readings on Privatisation Edited by Onyekpere, E. (2003). Lagos: Socio-Economic Rights Initiative (SERI).
26. “Public Policy and Poverty Eradication in Nigeria” in Alternative Poverty Eradication Strategy in Nigeria (2004). Lagos: Center for Democracy and Development.
27. “The Military and Democratization in Africa” in Democratization in Africa. Edited by Simelane, N. (Forthcoming). University of Swaziland.
28. “Four Years of Constitutional Rule in Nigeria” in Constitutions and Constitutionalism in Anglophone West Africa. Edited by Boafa-Arthur, K (forthcoming). Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Ghana.
29. “The Concept of Budgeting” in A Handbook of Budgeting (2005). Lagos: Center for Democracy and Development.
30. “Neo-Liberalism and Poverty in Nigeria” in Another Nigeria is Possible: Proceedings of the first Nigeria Social Forum. Abuja: Nigeria Social Forum.
31. “A Critique of the 1999 Constitution Making Process in Nigeria” in The Quest for a Gender Sensitive Constitution in Nigeria (2002). Lagos: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
32. “Civil Society Engagement with the National Political Reforms Conference (NPRC): A Critical Appraisal” in Political Reform Conference: Federalism and the National Question in Nigeria. Edited by W.O. Alli (2005). Nigeria Political Science Association.
33. “Women in Nigeria (WIN), Donor Agencies and the Struggle for Gender Equity in Nigeria in Feminism or Male Feminism? The Lives and Times of Women in Nigeria(WIN). Edited by Ibrahim, J. and Salihu, A. (2007), Centre for Research, Kano and Documentation and Politics of Development Group, Stockholm University.
34. “Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Poverty Reduction” in Civil Society and EITI in Nigeria Abuja: Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), 2007.
35. “Strategies for Restoring Franchise in Nigeria” in Ibrahim, J. and Ibeanu, O. (Eds)(2009), The 2007 Elections and Subversion of Popular Sovereignty Abuja: Centre for Democracy and Development.
36. “Ownership Structure and Level of Participation in the Oil and Gas Sector in Nigeria in Nigerian Extractive Industries: An Evaluation of the Nature and Character”. Oil and Gas Vol.1. (2010). Abuja: Coalitions for Change.
37. “Generational Shifts: Human Rights Struggles in the 1980s and 2000s” in Ibrahim, J. and and Ya’u Y.Z. (2010) The Left and Human Rights Struggle in Nigeria. Kano: Centre for Research and Documentation.
38. “The Global Economic Crisis, African Development and the Obama Presidency” in Africa and US in the Obama Presidency (Forthcoming)
39. A Critique of the 1999 Constitution Making and Review Process in Nigeria. (2002) Lagos: Citizens Forum for Constitutional Reform (CFCR) Monograph Series No. 1
40. Strategies for Winning the Anti-Corruption War in Nigeria. (2008). Action Aid Nigeria Briefing Paper 2.
(F) RESEARCH REPORTS
41. National Scientific Survey of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2003) by Sam Egwu, Femi Adelakun and Otive Igbuzor. Lagos: Citizens’ Forum for Constitutional Reform.
42. Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Participatory Research for Community Empowerment in Salihu, A. (ed) Community Empowerment Capacity Enhancement Needs Assessment (CE-CENA) Initiative: Study of Four Communities in Kano State, North Western Nigeria (February- August, 2003). Abuja, World Bank Institute.
Dr. Igbuzor is a professional of the highest mettle who belongs to many professional bodies including the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian Political Science Association, the Institute of Strategic Management of which he is a Fellow, and the Nigerian Institute of Management.
Dr. Igbuzor has always been a dedicated community leader wherever he found himself. He is an organizer and mobilizer of men and women. As a student in UNIBEN he was a member of the Students’ Union Parliament in the 1983/1984 academic session. He was elected as the National Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS). He later became the President of Orogun Students Association, and an active member of Urhobo Students’ Association. While domiciled in Maiduguri he was the Otota (Spokesman) of Urhobo Social Club, and was also a member of the Atamu Social Club.
MANAGER AND ADMINISTRATOR
Dr. Igbuzor has acquired enormous managerial skills which now reflect in his numerous undertakings as a management consultant, capacity building expert, financial and strategic adviser, researcher, policy analyst and more. His vast experience spans both the private and the public sectors. His expertise in the development sector is attested to by his significant contributions in various sectors of Nigeria’s national life such as education, health, conflict management, gender issues, governance, etc.
His views and services are highly regarded beyond the shores of Nigeria. It is for this that he has had the privilege of contributing to the development policies and programmes of countries like the United Kingdom, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Sweden.
CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVIST
Dr. Igbuzor is a major player in civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Nigeria and beyond. He was Programme Coordinator of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an independent body that is dedicated to research, democratic development and peace building in the West African sub-region (www.cddwestafrica.org). Also, he was Secretary of Citizens’ Forum for Constitutional Reform (CFCR) a coalition of over one hundred civil society organizations committed to a process led and participatory approach to constitutional reform in Nigeria.
One of the high points of Dr. Igbuzor’s NGO involvement was his becoming the Country Director of ActionAid International, a worldwide organization working with people, communities, partners and associates in 53 countries to eradicate poverty (www.actionaid.org). Within two years of his being in the saddle, the profile and fortune of ActionAid more than doubled. The level of community work deepened, the IT system was upgraded while highly influential publications on policy were rolled out. It was no wonder that ActionAid became a 2005 ThisDay newspaper NGO of the year nominee. Dr. Igbuzor becameActionAid’s head of international campaign. The icing on his deep commitment came when he was elected chairperson of International Non-Governmental Organizations Forum in Nigeria.
Dr. Igbuzor is currently the Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) with offices in Asaba, Delta State and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (www.centrelsd.org). The Centre runs a leadership school free of charge and it has so far graduated 62 students. In addition the Centre has trained over 150 other people within a period of two years.
A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN
Dr. Igbuzor is a devout Christian. He was for many years a member of the Baptist Church, Ozuaka- Orogun and in other locations where the quest for education took him like Eku, Benin, Maiduguri and Lagos. He functioned in different capacities as a Sunday School teacher and later Superintendent, Director of Missions, Co-ordinator of English Section, Member of the Church Executive Council, etc. Dr. Igbuzor gave his life to Christ in June 1993 and has since become a fisher of men. In order to consolidate his evangelical calling, Dr. Igbuzor attended the New Creation Bible Institute in Maiduguri and was ordained as a Pastor of Compassion of Jesus Global Mission Inc. in 2004. He is today a tent making pastor in the ministry.
SERVICE TO HUMANITY
Dr. Igbuzor is driven by an abiding passion to serve humanity beyond national, ethnic, racial or religious boundaries. His desire to make the world a better place is infectious in the same way his abiding optimism and steadfast faith in humanity is profound. Dr. Igbuzor was in the team that crafted a new constitution for Rwanda after the genocide which almost crippled the conscience of the world. He worked most assiduously for a new dawn for the people of Rwanda. Dr. Igbuzor has also been quite instrumental to the evolution of many government policies in Nigeria. He was in the committee that engendered the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS 2). He also served in the Presidential Amnesty Committee which helped in bringing peace to the Niger Delta. In 2008 he was appointed by the Federal Government as a Commissioner in the Police Service Commission (PSC) to represent the Human Rights Organization and the South-South Zone (www.psc.gov.ng). He has served as member and chairman of many of the Commission’s committees. He is at the moment the Chairman of the Police Recruitment Board. Dr. Igbuzor contributed to the preparation of Ekiti State Development Strategy and also served on the Borno State Development Committee.
A NIGERIAN PATRIOT
Dr. Igbuzor is the quintessence of an ideal Nigerian. His birth at the time of the nation’s attainment of republican status was not a coincidence. Providence marked him out as a symbol of patriotism. His Pan-Nigerian character reflects in his national network which spans all the nation’s geo-political zones. He is an incurable nationalist who has taken the credo of Nigeria’s genuine aspirations to every corner of the world.
A MAN OF RESPONSIBILITY
Dr. Igbuzor holds the view that every human being has responsibilities at various levels – family, community, state, nation, and the world at large. He believes that recognizing such responsibilities and taking them on will make our world the much sought after El Dorado. At the nuclear family level is the responsibility to be faithful, provide for the home and bring up one’s offspring in an upright manner. At the extended family level there is the need to support family members especially those that are vulnerable and are passing through challenging times. At the community level is the responsibility to contribute to community cohesion and development. At the state level is the responsibility to ensure that one’s state occupies a pride of place. Here it is one’s duty to ensure accountability, good governance and effective use of the state’s resources for its overall development. At the national level, the duty is to love one’s country unconditionally. And one must strive to contribute to its socio-economic and political development. One must stand up to be counted on the side of the crusade against evil, corruption, injustice and inequity. At the international level is the compelling need to contribute to making our dehumanized world a better place than we met it. It is unacceptable that over one billion people go to bed without fod every night despite the immeasurable amount of wealth in the world.
Dr. Igbuzor can be called Mr. Philanthropy! He has been involved in many philanthropic engagements. He has brought hope and economic empowerment to many through the Odeyovwi Co-operative Society he founded in 2003. As the President of the Ejiro & Otive Igbuzor Foundation he has been a champion of community development, women empowerment, education and leadership development (www.igbuzorfoundation.org). The foundation which offers scholarship to the deserving has also brought succor to widows and the aged. It also runs the Niger Delta Resource Centre in Ugono-Orogun to ease access to information and internet services.
THE FAMILY MAN
Dr. Igbuzor is married to Ejiro, a robustly brilliant University of Ibadan doctorate degree holder in Microbiology. Dr. (Mrs.) Ejiro Otive-Igbuzor is a renowned gender expert and erstwhile Country Director of Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) in Nigeria. The blissful union is blessed with two children, Uvie and Rukevwe.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Dr. Igbuzor’s passion for selfless service has not gone unnoticed. Awards and accolades have come his way, and they are numerous. Corporate and Media Communications Ltd. gave him a Gold Award in recognition of his contribution to the socio-economic development of Nigeria in 2007. Later in the same year he received the Nigerian Students’ Vanguard instituted Pride of Humanity Award towards the eradication of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. In 2009 the Women Leadership Forum decorated him with the ‘Most Gender-Sensitive Man in Nigeria’ Award. He is also a Fellow of the Certified Institute of Development Studies as well as the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria.
MISSION AND COMMITMENT
Dr. Igbuzor is inspired by a manifest and genuinely profound desire to humanize our dehumanized world. His mission in life is to impact lives spiritually, politically, financially and knowledgewise. He believes that it is possible for all humanity to be happy and fulfilled. What is necessary is an ideal leadership which inheres in selflessness, sacrifice and vision; coupled with appropriate strategy and right development approach. This is the banner Dr. Igbuzor is hoisting. It is the banner of renewal, hope and realization of everything good for humanity.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Barr. M. A. Mukoro, Director General, Delta Rescue Mission (DRM). Tel: +234 8101271685
Comrade Anthony Agary, Director of Mobilisation, Delta Rescue Mission (DRM). Tel: +234 8078255673
Mr. Chuks Erhire, Director of Youth, Delta Rescue Mission (DRM). Tel: + 234 8035471093