2023 APC Vice Presidency, a bright spotlight on Chief Ezekiel Afunkonyo, a selfless, dedicated, dogged and partisan leader.
As Nigerians anticipate potential Aspirants ahead of the forthcoming 2023 presidential elections, it would be eminent to showcase the noble capacity, antecedents, selfless commitments and other outstanding excellence demonstrated by Chief Ezekiel Afunkonyo who has been confirmed by several political forums and social groups as most suitable for the Office of the Vice president of Nigeria. According to a recent survey by Times Nigeria Magazine, it x-rayed several prospective aspirants but beamed her searchlight on Chief Ezekiel Afunkonyo whose noticeable efforts have remained significantly indelible, especially in areas of grassroot impacts and his recent accelerated national influence. However, this article will identify and uncover some of the notable activities, achievements and visionary prospects demonstrated by Chief Afunkonyo towards ensuring a greater Nigeria.
Known as a highly trained Diplomat, a seasoned Public Servant with over 20years of experience, a Security Expert, an Investment consultant, an organizational Strategist, an Author, a goal oriented Administrator with several development skills and a Mentor with proven track records that transcends cultural diversity, Chief Afukonyo has nurtured a firm political foundation, which he stands firmly upon today. His devoted struggle and zeal for a better political atmosphere in Nigeria saw him through several political job experiences, political appointments and specialized trainings in areas of Leadership, Sustainable Infrastructure/Assets management, Corporate Governance, Emotional Intelligence, Security Expertise and other relevant development skills required of a receptive and responsive leader.
He had earlier joined the Service of the National Intelligence Agency(NIA) in 1997, until his voluntary retirement in 2010. Before retirement he had attended the Agency’s Specialist Institute and also engaged in other professional training within Nigeria and abroad. It would also be imminent to note that Chief Afukonyo was a Pioneer Member of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He had represented Nigeria at various international fora and in different capacity which includes the Oil and Gas Conference in Ravenna Italy, the International Conference for Security Experts held in Abu Dhabi, the Conference on Poverty Eradication in Africa held at Libreville, Gabon and represented Nigeria at the ECOWAS Expert Draft Committee Meeting on Child Trafficking in Ghana.
He was Nigeria’s Representative at the Joint Expert Training on Immigration Programme in the Netherlands, leading the Team that evacuated Nigerian Refugees and Prisoners in Bangkok, Thailand. He had represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in UK, after which he was appointed as Secretary (Security), Christian Pilgrimage to Israel from 2001 to 2002 and amongst other national and international representations. Although he has a vibrant academic background, accustomed with stems of several professional certifications, one could explicitly notice his outstanding exposure, department in philosophical knowledge and an illuminated political vision. Chief Afukonyo is however a Foreign Service Academic Certificate Holder. He also holds a Masters Degree in Law and Diplomacy, as well as a Bachelor Degree in History. His professional experiences elucidates his visionary ambitions and have made him not only a stone in the dust, but a rare gem with feats of sustainable achievements.
In a retrospect on his political job experiences, it is on record that Chief Afukonyo was the Chairmanship Candidate for National Republican Convention Party from 1994 to 1995. In 1995 until 1996, he held the position of Director Research and Member Board of Trustees of the Democratic People’s Party(DPN). In 2011 he was appointed as GMB 2011 Campaign Coordinator for Taraba State and was later a Gubernatorial Aspirant of the then newly birthed Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) in Taraba State.
After the dynamics that led to the emergence of All Progressive Congress-APC as the ruling party, Chief Afunkoyo maintained his interest in the growth and development of the party as he remained undaunted and committed in campaign crusades for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 Presidential Election. During the 2015 general elections, he played quite a very significant role in ensuring the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari using his capacity, influence, intelligence and resources. He was however appointed as a Member of APC Northeast Congress Reconciliation Committee in 2015 and again joined the Taraba state Gubernatorial race as an Aspirant under the All Progressive Congress-APC, while he participated pragmatically in several Committees, which includes, Member of GMB Advisory Committee, as Chairman of Security Committee on GMB Presidential Campaign Declaration and Member of the Presidential Campaign Council in the 2015 Presidential Election as a Security Coordinator in Taraba state.
Having made history with the fruition of All Progressive Change as the new ruling party with the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as Winner of the 2015 Presidential Election, Chief Afukonyo maintained an unrivaled determination in his plights of ensuring that the party continues in its struggle to develop better networks and structures across the country. Later in 2018, He came onboard as the Chairman of APC Local Government Congress Appeal Committee in Anambra State. Few months later, he was made the Secretary of APC State Congress Committee in Ogun state and was appointed as a Member of APC Convention Screening Appeal Committee in 2018 ahead of 2019 general elections.
In 2019, Chief Afukonyo made several efforts to ensure that the ruling All Progressive Congress-APC remained in power, especially at the presidential level. Chief Afunkoyo is currently the Chairman Board of Management at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, recording several impressive achievements which includes the completion of the permanent site of NAUTH, which was abandoned for over 30years. Today the permanent site of NAUTH has been completed and the institution now enjoys several advanced improvements with emphasis on quality training and service delivery.
Until now, he has maintained his Membership with the Presidential Ad-hoc Defence and Security Think Tank Team. Over the years, Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afukonyo has remained committed to prospective and proactive development for the improvements of communities in Taraba state and across Nigeria. He recently returned from Taraba State after a robust campaign for the party ahead of the National Convention in February. With his outstanding contributions to humanity, he has received several traditional titles which includes, the “Kakunka Ibi” in Ibi Chiefdom of Taraba State, the “Ikeoma Nnewi” of Nnewi in Anambra state and amongst other reputable titles. All of these put together justifies why the cap of the Vice President of Nigeria best fits Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afunkoyo.