There is no doubt that Otunba Matthew Olusegun Runsewe is deliberately conscious of the expectations of president Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Nigeria to the mandate to create and promote a culture economy that would stand out nation our among the emerged and the emerging global cultural destinations.
Indeed, one should be held responsible for not making enough effort to interpret and bring to limelight tourism and culture icons and players such as Runsewe who has progressively given fresh impetus to our recreational endowments, showcasing the inherent value chain, creating jobs and gives hope to the hopeless who had water of cultural tourism life and yet too fearful to take a bold step.
In the last one decade, Runsewe has broken the barrier of our tourism and culture ignorance and, as an apostle on defined mission, never looking back or flattered, you may hate Runsewe for having an undying faith in Nigerian culture and tourism tomorrow, yet as an experienced evangelist, he keeps on winning souls and adherents to cultural tourism business, which many see as a mirage in our quest to the diversification of the economy.
The Runsewe that I know, does not long or wish for huge whispers of appreciations or lobby through the red carpets of the Presidential Villa as is wont with some appointees of government who have nothing to offer, but he commits inspiring energy, futuristic administrative templates and trends of verifiable gains to the government and people of Nigeria that brooks signs and wonders.
Indeed, Runsewe’s work rate and achievement to a lot of people particularly keen observers of emerging Nigerian culture and tourism narratives tend to expose the rot, lies and deceit of other managers of related tourism culture lifelines. His dedication and love for the Nigerian people and their future expectations in this critical area of the economic dawn could be described as the light of the nation and salt to our people’s livelihood, today and tomorrow.
That is the marked difference and may be the drawing force behind the uncountable awards and testimonies of appreciation to this ijebu man who had in course of this single minded and self driven efforts, is at home, across the thousands of tribes and tongues that makes Nigeria a unique place to discover and visit.
No wonder the Olabisi Onabajo University professional administrative group decided last week to call him out to be recognised and appreciated. Among the inspiring nuggets of professional competence and appreciation enumerated by OOU eggheads as befitting of Runsewe’s time-out in the culture and tourism sectors in Nigeria, his unflinching drive to always leave a legacy where he is called to serve stands him above others. It is, therefore, not out of place to say that Runsewe is conscious of history, determined to make Nigeria proud and, above all, he is a game changer out to set records that others now or coming behind may struggle to equal.
I have known Runsewe for more than 15 years. He is never dropping his guard. His other name is humility and, as we drove back to Lagos, the very positive impact of this event of his award by OOU flashed back through my mind. It is really heartwarming to witness the entire university community, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, flanked by the registrar, Mrs. Omolara Osunsanya, and Professor Michael Ologunde, joining others to confer on Runsewe the well deserved Distinguished Service Award in Administration (DSA). To us on this beat, we congratulate this tireless tourism enigma and look forward to a new Nigeria where culture and tourism would no longer be discussed in whispers and hisses, but as a flourishing destination with jobs and jobs as evidence of growth and impact.