-By Funmi Falobi-
He is renowned for his contribution to the development of broadcasting media and inclusion of disability in Nigeria media. Dr. Akin Akingbulu, an expert in media and communication development, is the Executive Director, Institute for Media and Society (IMS), a media/communication support non-governmental organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria.
It was an event of encomium and outpouring of commendations for the change agent at a quiet colloquium in honour of Akingbulu as he turns 65 on 4th April, 2022. The virtual event attracted academia, media experts and civil society organisations.
From Professor Ayo Ojebode, Department of Communication and Language Art, University of Ibadan, Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, Dr. Fasiku Gbenga to Mariam Menkiti, Dr Tade Ogidan, Mr Lanre Arogundade, Jake Epelle, Anike Ade Trasure, and his childhood friend, Fasalejo Emmanuel and a host of others, it was all good commendation to Akingbulu’s contribution in the area of community radio in Nigeria and democratising communication education in the nation.
Described as humble and proactive personality, “It is great that Dr. Akingbulu is being celebrated. The life of activists and development advocates is usually modest and often go without much celebration. That must change and is changing by this gathering. Dr. Akingbulu and everyone present here, know that the years of activism and development is not where it ought to be. On this note we at the WFD wish him most wonderful and energetic years ahead,” said Adebowale Olorunmola, Country Representative, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
No doubt, Akingbulu’s contribution in training media practitioners in ensuring inclusion for Persons with Disability (PWD) cannot be over emphasised. Today, the story is changing gradually.
“On behalf of the community of disability in Nigeria, we celebrate this icon, researcher, full of humility, integrity, love of God and his family.
“You fought with us to achieve disability in media space; advocate for employment of PWD in media organisations; bring to the consciousness of NBC the issue of disability and inclusion of PWD in media programming.
“Your work, policy will remain in the sand of time. The world celebrates you sir,” said Jake Epele, President, Albino Foundation.
Akingbulu works as a consultant in areas of media health and pluralism, media/communication policy, political communication as well as capacity building for civil society and government institutions. He has consulted for the Government of Nigeria and international institutions at home and abroad.
He has been the Coordinator of the Initiative on Building Community Radio in Nigeria and the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition since 2003. He was a member of the Working Group appointed by the Government of Nigeria to draft a Community Broadcasting Policy for the country in 2006.
The communication expert has conducted research and published on issues in the media and communication sector.
He worked in the education and youth development institutions of the public sector; in the media with Independent Communications Network, publishers of The News, and PM News titles, and the Independent Journalism Centre (IJC), Lagos.
He holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.