5 Sep 2015

Biography of Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo

Laolu Akande
Laolu Akande
Laolu Akande is a notable reporter, editor and writer. He attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated in 1990 with an honours degree in History. In 1992, he obtained his Masters in Communication and Language Arts.

His career in journalism started in his schooldays at the Oyo State College of Arts & Science, Ile-Ife through the University of Ibadan. He started reporting for The Guardian as far back as 1989 and became one of the nation”s most distinguished reporters.
He has written guest columns and news stories for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday and The News Journal of Wilmington Delaware.
As a journalist reporting for the leading Nigerian newspapers including The Guardian,  Laolu Akande is regarded as the longest serving African correspondent at the United Nations, and the only Nigerian journalist so far to have interviewed a sitting American president in the White House when he interviewed former President George W. Bush. He has also exclusively interviewed American folk hero, General Colin Powell, billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the real estate billionaire Donald Trump and several African leaders and presidents.
Laolu Akande haven begun his journalism career as a Reporter in 1989,later moved over to the founding team of The News Magazine in 1993, where he became that magazine’s Senior Writer. In 1995 he joined Nigerian Tribune and became its Special Projects Editor and later became the Editor in 1997, before he relocated to the United States of America in 1998.
In the US where he was also an adjunct college professor, Laolu Akande founded “The Empowered Newswire”, a publication that has continuously reported about Nigerians and Nigerian issues especially in the US and Canada in the last 13 years.
Laolu Akande had earlier worked  with leading American newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Newsday. Also at the United Nations, he worked briefly as a Press Officer and later as an Advocacy and Communication Consultant between 2002-2004. He was also the Bureau Chief of the Guardian in North America.
He became a pastor in 2007 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus Friends Assembly in Long Island, New York. Laolu Akande was thereafter made the Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigerian Americans(CANAN). He is married and blessed with Children.
During the 1992 ASUU national strike, Laolu Akande’s publications disclosed the behind the scenes maneuvers and negotiations that persisted while the strike was on between the Federal Government and the striking lecturers.
When he joined the Nigerian Tribune and became editor of the weekend paper in 1997, he became one of the youngest newspaper editors in Nigeria. That However brought him in direct confrontation with the military and he had to leave Nigeria about 14 months later alerted that he may have become a target after publishing a cover story with a screaming headline “WHO WANTS DIYA DEAD?” not knowing that on the day of the publication the Abacha junta will declare Diya a coup plotter.
It is worthy to note that Laolu Akande taught at the State University of Newyork at Stonybrook and also Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, Newyork between 2002 and 2015.

He was officially appointed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari to be the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the vice president, Yemi Osibanjo and he assumed office in September 2015.

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