As the 2019 general elections gradually approaches, political activities all over the country have heightened especially in the Cross-River Central Senatorial district. This is not surprising as the senatorial zone is widely regarded as the epicenter of Cross-River State politics.
Among the numerous candidates seeking to vie for the Cross-River central senatorial seat, one individual stands out among them. He is Prof. Oka Martin Obono, under the All Progressive Congress, APC. Armed with an intimidating profile, Prof. Obono, who holds the rare title of Obol Kogbogha K’Ekpon of Yakurr, is considered as the only candidate that can usher in the winds of positive change and progress in the senatorial zone by his people.
A highly-distinguished Professor of Sociology and Population Studies at the University of Ibadan; Chair of the Demography and Population Studies Unit, Department of Sociology (UI); Director of the Centre for Human Resource Development and immediate past Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (now Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies), University of Ibadan, Professor Obono has worked at the University of Calabar (1990-98); Ibadan (1998-); Population Training and Studies Centre/Department of Anthropology (Brown University, USA, 2000-2); Bowen University (2005); Centre for Sustainable Development (2009-); Nigeria’s National Defence College (Abuja); and as Visiting Professor to Leiden University, the Netherlands (2010-2011; 2015); and the University of the Western Cape, South Africa (2011-2).
Also, he was on the Technical Advisory Board of the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (And Christie Research Foundation); Governing Board of the Association for Asian Studies in Africa (A-ASIA) and founder, Millennium Advancement Initiatives. He was a member, UI Council Committee on Community Development; UI Senate Curriculum Committee; and Chair, UI Senate Ad hoc Committee on Matters Related to Restitution and Academic Integrity.
Being a Consummate Scholar, he has also served as Principal Investigator (PI) to WHO on the Anthropological Study of the Ebola Outbreak in Uganda (2012); WHO PI on Study of Public Perceptions of Healthcare Services in Southwest Nigeria; Member, WHO International Pre-certification Team to Nigeria (2010), and WHO International Certification Team (ICT) to Nigeria (2013), Ghana (2015) and Kenya (2017);Director of Research, Public Attitudes to Public Policy (Lagos, 2010-3); Consultant to UNECA/UNDP on Africa Governance Monitoring Report III (2009); Zonal Team Leader, European Union Monitoring Mission of the 2006 Nigerian Census (2006); Coordinator of regional network on governance monitoring; Regional Conflict/Methodology Consultant to the Consortium for Development Partnerships; and International Consultant to the West African Civil Society Institute (Accra), Population Council (New York), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (Dakar), SEEK Development (Berlin), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (Geneva), United Nations Office for West Africa, United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UNIDEP), among others.
He is a renowned global researcher, population scientist, policy analyst, leadership consultant; and Regional Programme Representative of the Social Sciences Research Council (New York) Next Generation Scholars Programme; Principal Strategy Consultant to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the Community Strategic Framework (2016-2020); Principal Investigator (PI)on the United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa Multi-country Assessment of Investments in Social Protection (Nigeria, 2017-9), Temporary Adviser to the World Health Organization (1996-date).
Professor Obono has over 150 published essays, including path-breaking international journal articles and social commentaries.