SEMIU OKANLAWON Served as Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to former Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, South-West Nigeria, now the Minister of Interiors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
For first six and half years of the administration, he served as the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Governor’s Office overseeing the branding and marketing of the programmes and policies of his boss’ administration which branded its programmes such as OYES, O'CLEAN, O-SCHOOL, OMEAL, OYESTECH, obviously the first attempt by any government to engage in conscious branding of its programmes.
Before his public service venture in Osun, Okanlawon had founded one of Nigeria’s leading online news publications, The Nigeria Politics Online (now rebranded as NPO Reports); a total communication and strategy company, Proumou Media Consulting. He rose to become the Politics Editor of one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers, The PUNCH where he spent 9 years in various capacities as Senior Correspondent, Features Writer, Bureau Chief for the newspaper in Oyo State, South-West Nigeria.
He had equally worked with the newspaper regarded as the flagship of the Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian, and one of the oldest newspapers, The Daily Times. Okanlawon was a foundation member of staff of the defunct, The Comet, which transformed to one of today’s leading national dailies in Nigeria, The Nation.
At various times, he served as member, Editorial Board of Nigeria’s first very active non-governmental, human rights organisation, the Civil Liberties Organisation and he was a Consultant to the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), an institution of the Catholic Mission during which he introduced and edited the organisation’s magazine, The Democracy Monitor.
Okanlawon holds a Masters Degree in Communication Studies from the Lagos State University, a Bachelors Degree in Modern European Languages (English and Literature) of the University of Ilorin, North-Central Nigeria. He holds a Certificate in Advertising of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and he is also an Associate the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
At various times, Okanlawon had taken courses on Economic Literacy Programme at Nigeria’s Pan-Africa University’s Lagos Business School; Strategies for Results-Driven Change Management at the University of Manchester Business School, Manchester, United Kingdom, Strategic Communications and Public Relations Programme at the International School of Communications, Dubai, United Arabs Emirates.
A member of the International Association of Political Consultants, he had attended the IAPC conferences in New York, Antigua and Rome while he had also attended the European Association of Political Consultants’ conference in Milan, Italy and the African chapter’s maiden conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
He served as the chairman of the organizing committee of the second African conference held in Nigeria in 2017. He was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the Fourth African Summit of the APCA. He served as the Interim Chairman of the Nigerian Chapter until September 2019.
He is married with children.