On Friday, 5th April 2019, I attended inaugural Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Present lecture series titled, NEXUS LEADERSHIP: LEGACY OF HUMPHREY FELLOWSHIP organized by Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association, Nigeria at the Public Affairs Section of United State Consulate, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The programme started exactly 10:00am by the recitation of United State Anthem and Nigerian Anthem and Mr. Stephen Ipalibo Lawson was the Master of Ceremony.

The Consul-General, Mr. John F. Bray gave the opening speech, and gave us the brief historical background of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme started in 1978, the participants were chosen around the world and it has trained more than 5000 Alumni. He gave some statistics about Nigeria: 2.5% growth, the population would be 450 million in 2050, and her economic growth is 2% or less. He finalized that Leadership is the most important trait and today’s youth is tomorrows leader.

The President of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni, Mrs. Mojisola Onifade said HHH lecture series would be organize quarterly where the Alumni(s) would be sharing their experiences while on HHFP and after the programme. She said the US Government spent $100,000 per fellow and at the present, 97 fellows were undergoing training in the American Universities. She concluded saying “As leaders we should mentor the youth”.

One of the speakers, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke, the Chief Judge of Lagos State titled her paper, LEADERSHIP; A DISTINTIVE SKILL OF EVERY HUBERT HUMPHREY FELLOW. In 1998, she applied for the fellowship which happened at a time when proceeding were recorded manually and as a judge, you practically had to handwrite every word that proceeded out of the mouth of every counsel, witness, and litigant. She gave series of definition for leadership from the likes of Peter Drucker, Stephen R. Covey, and Keith Davis and also gave us the qualities of an effective leaders viz: Integrity, the I can or can do spirit, vision, innovation, empathy or emotional intelligence, commitment and consistency, and team spirit. Her closing remarks, the knowledge she garnered from the lectures series of the fellowship which had made who she is today, through the grace of God, HHFP.

The second speaker, Dr Jude Ememe spoke about his experiences in Boston University at Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme. He polarized his speech into two: (1) Boston experience, (2) Leadership experience. The Boston University experiences gave his life a meaning, opportunities to network with World Bank officials, Federal Reserve Bankers, IMF, and the likes. His leadership experiences gave him a philosophy of giving and capacity building which helped as former managing director of a bank, president of excellence programme in Nigeria and founded NGO. His NGO trained inmates about capacity development and correctional learning in collaboration with Rockefeller fellowship. Dr Ememe finalized his speech saying Knowledge not updated will be obsolete, “No end to learning, and Every opportunity to service is a celebration.

The MC, Mr. Stephen Lawson called on the Mr. Tom to be the moderator of the panel session which includes the speakers, the MC, and the moderator.

Mrs. Moji Onifade gave the closing remarks and encouraged every attendee should try to apply for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme which consists of ten fields of human endeavour.

Dr Mathew gave the vote of thanks at 12:00pm.


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