Even as she warms up to resume office as the High Commissioner to Jamaica, Haiti, Belize and Dominican Republic, Dr Maureen Piribonemi Tanumo has begun to show evidence of being a round peg in a round hole. Tanumo, who has also been appointed as the Permanent Representative to International Seabed Authority, seems prepared to prove her mettle. Indeed, the River State-born woman has hit the ground running with activities that tend to be beneficial to Nigeria.
For two days, specifically Thursday, 16 April and Friday, 17, April 17, the new Diplomat was in Osun State, where she visited the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. The visit to the Ooni of Ife was in response to the monarch’s invitation extended to Tamuno who will serve as the representative of Nigeria in Caribbean and Jamaica. It was also to serve as part of activities to discuss issues of mutual relations and seek cooperation from the Ooni who is also a custodian of Yoruba and African culture and traditions.
Speaking on the occasion, Tanumo, who was spectacularly entertained by traditional dancers from Ile-Ife, thanked the Ooni for the invitation and the hospitality accorded her and her entourage. She said the Caribbean would be happy and also look forward to being associated with the people of Nigeria, especially those from the South West, who were transported as slaves many years ago through Badagry in the South-West part of Nigeria and Calabar.
In his response, the Ooni assured the ambassador-designate of his total cooperation to make her job easy. He also christened the ambassador-designate Adetamilore —means gift from the crown— stating that as the representative of the Black people in her new country of assignment, she has been adopted as “our daughter and we will continue to celebrate you and honour you.”
To consolidate her pre-departure visit, Amb. Tamuno also visited Governor Oyetola (who showed his appreciation and promised his utmost support), as well as a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu essentially to enable seamless communication in the progressive plans of the Ambassador-Designate to further expose the cultural splendor, heritage, trades and other institutional aspect of Lagos and Nigeria to investors and the world.
Tanumo, a native of Alawari, Agbabiri in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, has featured prominently in several areas of national life with impressive records. Little wonder her confirmation by the Nigerian Senate as one of the non-career ambassadors mid-last year was applauded by many who described it as well deserved.