Ambassador John Kayode Shinkaiye GCOI (EG) LVO (GB) OFR, mni
Ambassador John Kayode Shinkaiye GCOI (EG) LVO (GB) OFR, mniAmb. John Kayode Shinkaiye was a career diplomat, with a wealth of experience in and knowledge of the private and public sectors across Africa, Europe and Asia spanning over four decades.
He studied Sociology at the University of Lagos where he obtained a B.Sc. Hons 2nd Class Upper Division degree in 1972. He attended Government Secondary School in Dekina in Kogi State before proceeding to the famous Kings College, Lagos for his Higher School Certificate. He learnt French in the University of Dakar.
Amb. Shinkaiye served in many Nigerian missions in Africa and in Britain as follows: Lome, Togo (1973 to 1977); London, Britain (1978 to 1982) Dakar, Senegal (1984 to 19 87) and London again (1987 to 1989). He was appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea in 1989 at a time the relations between the two countries were at their lowest ebb. His main mandate was to work towards restoring normalcy in the relations between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. He achieved that objective.
At Headquarters, Amb Shinkaiye occupied very strategic positions and played important roles in his country’s diplomatic, security and political structures. He was the Assistant to the Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary (1977 to 1978) becoming himself the Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary (1982 to1984) and Director, Office of Permanent Secretary from 1998 to 2000. In these positions, Amb Shinkaiye was the liaison for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Ministry of Defence, the Special Services Department of the Cabinet Office, Defence Headquarters, the Army, Navy and Air Force and the Security Services. He was also the point of contact for the Defence/Military Advisers/Attaches of Foreign Missions in Nigeria.
A consummate negotiator and brave envoy, Amb Shinkaiye led the Nigerian 3-man delegation to the Lome Peace Talk on Sierra Leone in 1999 where the Nigerian delegation, made substantial contributions to the Lome Peace Agreement. Before the RUF accepted the agreement, Amb. Shinkaiye with Amb. Joe Keshi had to go to the RUF headquarters to meet the Field Commanders before any cease fire agreement. In recognition of his bravery and good faith, Amb Shinkaiye, after persuading the rebels to accept the agreement, asked for and was given ten (10) Nigerian Prisoners of War being held by the rebels who travelled with him to Abuja.
Amb Shinkaiye was appointed the Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia from January 2000 to August 2003. He was concurrently accredited to the Republic of Djibouti as well as being Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
As Nigeria’s Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Ambassador Shinkaiye was intimately involved in the transformation of the OAU to the AU and was one of the lead African Ambassadors that developed all the instruments of the new continental body. He chaired many, or served in many OAU/AU Committees, Sub-Committees and Working Groups.
Amb. Shinkaiye served as the Chief of Staff of two African Union Commission Chairpersons, in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, namely former President Alpha Omar Konare of Mali, from January 2006 to April 2008, and Dr. Jean Ping of Gabon from May 2008 to October 2012. The duties of the Chief of Staff are multifarious and complex, including the coordination of the activities of the various Departments/Units in the Office of the Chairperson.He also had responsibility for coordinating the various partnerships Africa and the African Union had with several countries and organisations, including the EU, US, China, South America, India, Turkey and the Republic of Korea.
Amb Shinkaiye participated in many conferences including ECOWAS Summits, the Commonwealth, the OAU/AU, CEN-SAD, and SADC. He has visited almost all African countries and many European, Asian, American and South American countries as well Australia.
He has authored several reports and contributed many articles in several publications and has given lectures in many conferences of Nigerian Defence Advisers; at the Immigration Staff College in Sokoto, NIPSS, the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy the National Defence College, Abuja, the Foreign Service Academy and NIIA, Lagos.
In recognition of his contributions to the strengthening of relations between Nigeria and Britain, he was honoured in May 1989 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of Lieutenant of the Royal Victoria Order (LVO) and for the same reason as given above, he was awarded the Medal of the Grand Cross of the Order of Independence (GCOI) by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Equatorial Guinea in December 1993. He is an Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) which he was honoured with in 2001 and a Member of the National Institute (mni).
Amb Shinkaiye was a sports man in his younger days, having represented his schools in football, volleyball and Athletics and was Captain or Vice-Captain including being the Captain of the Unilag Football team in 1970/71. He played for Nigeria’s Junior National Team in 1968 and also for a Lagos First Division Football Club- Flour Mills- from 1970-73.
Amb. Shinkaiye is married to his wife of almost forty-one (41) years, Mrs Agnes Oluwakemipe Shinkaiye and they are blessed with five children Mr Adebayo Shinkaiye, Mrs Naomi Foluwake Arimoro, Miss Foluwaso Shinkaiye, Mrs Titilayo Anegbe and Adeniyi Shinkaiye. He is currently, Chairman of JKS and Associates Ltd and a Non- Execute Director of UBA Capital Plc.