Professor Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, diplomat and Nigerian ambassador to the United States, is dead. Adefuye suffered a seizure while being chauffeured to his office on Thursday; and he died before he got to the hospital.
Having being recalled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month alongside several other Nigerian diplomats and envoys, Adufuye would have handed over to the Consular General this month-end and a send-off party held for him next Wednesday – but it appears that might be converted to his memorial service.
He received President Buhari and government delegations to the United States last month when Buhari met with President Obama during a three-day visit to the United States.
Prof. Adufuye was a former professor of History and had been Nigeria’s ambassador to the US since March 2010. Adefuye was born in 1947 in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, and bagged his first degree in History in 1969 from the University of Ibadan; and thereafter earned a Ph.D in History from the same university in 1973.
He thereafter studied at the Columbia University as a Fulbright scholar, and he also attended the University of North Florida, as well as the University of Florida in Gainesville. He lectured briefly at the University of Lagos and later became a professor, after which he became the Head of Department for History from 1985-1987. He published hundreds of articles and several books.
Adefuye got his first diplomatic posting in 1987 as High Commissioner to Jamaica, and later to Haiti and then Belize until 1991. He was Deputy High Commissioner at the Nigerian Embassy in London between 1991-1994, and later hired for the position of Deputy Director of Strategic Planning by Commonwealth – formerly British Commonwealth of Nations. And from 2008-2010, Adefuye was Advisor for ECOWAS.
“Historically, we’ve had a love-hate relationship with the United States. We are of strategic importance to America; that no one can deny. They want us to be a bastion of democracy, a peaceful nation. If we’re not, they get very angry,” Adefuye once said while speaking on the relationship between Nigeria and the US government.