Ambassador Dr. Chijioke Wilcox Wigwe, fwc
Ambassador Dr Chijioke Wigwe had his early primary and secondary education in his hometown Aba between 1957 and 1967. He transferred to CMS Grammar School, Lagos, in September 1969 where he completed the West African School Certificate (WASC) in December 1970; the General Certificate of Education (GCE A/L) in History and Government in 1971; and the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in English Literature, History and French in 1972. He attended the University of Lagos from September 1973 to June 1976 and graduated with a B.A (Hons) degree in English, in Second Class Upper Division. He obtained a PhD in English in July 1981 from the University of Exeter, England, and a post-graduate Diploma in Journalism from the London School of Journalism in 1991. In September 2000, Dr Wigwe proceeded to the National War College, Nigeria (Course 9) from where he graduated with the Fellow of War College Certificate (fwc) in 2001.
Dr Wigwe was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Calabar and the University of Jos respectively from August 1977 to September 1978. He remained a Lecturer in English at Jos University until April 1984 when he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a First Secretary (Foreign Service Officer Grade V). He rose quickly through the ranks, attaining the position of Director (Foreign Service Officer Special Grade) in January 2006. Between 1984 and 2011, Ambassador Wigwe held important senior appointments and served in various capacities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Nigerian Diplomatic Missions abroad including Tokyo, Warsaw, New York and Nairobi. Positions held include, Director, Office of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, from 2002 to 2003; Head, United Nations Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee (Third Committee) from 2003 to 2007; and, Director, Asia and Pacific Affairs Division from July to October 2007. In May 2008, Ambassador Wigwe was appointed High Commissioner Extra-Ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Seychelles as well as Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). He was elected Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (Nairobi Chapter) for the year 2009. He was twice Chairman of the African Group of Experts to the United Nations Third Committee, in 2005 and 2007, and also the Elections Officer for the Permanent Mission of Nigeria. Ambassador Wigwe has been a Member of Faculty (Directing Staff) at the National Defence College since February 2012.
Ambassador Wigwe distinguished himself as a career diplomat, which earned him some accolades including Best Ambassador of the Year (2010); African Peace and Security Impact Award (2009) - for negotiating and securing the release of the Nigerian vessel MV Yenagoa which was held in captivity by Somali pirates for ten months; and Exemplary Leadership and Community Service Award (2007). Academic honours and distinctions received include the Eudora Coker Memorial Prize for Best HSC Literature in 1972; the Faculty of Arts Prize for Best All-Round Performance in the Degree Examination at the University of Lagos in June 1976; and an Honours Diploma in Journalism by the London School of Journalism for Outstanding Ability and Expertise in 1991.
Ambassador Wigwe has attended several international bilateral and multilateral conferences and meetings, and delivered lectures at seminars. In 1982 he founded and edited an academic journal titled Nigerian Journal of Sociolinguistics. This was followed by the publication of a book in 1990 titled Language, Culture and Society in West Africa. He is a Lifetime / Platinum Member Cambridge Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals, USA, and Member of the Association of Freelance Journalists, UK.