Gbenga Komolafe

By StreetNet Media
May 22, 2023
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Olugbenga Ebenezer Komolafe, well known in Nigerian human rights and trade union circles as Gbenga Komolafe was born October 16, 1964 in Southwest, Nigeria. He came into limelight in 1989 when he was arrested by the General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida military junta, in the aftermath of massive popular protests against military despotism, economic mismanagement and political corruption. As Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), he helped to give articulation and purposeful direction to the opposition to military despotism in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Gbenga Komolafe graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1991 and immediately became part of a growing pro-democracy movement, co-founding the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), that has evolved into Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization.

In 1998, Gbenga Komolafe won a research grant by the Center for Research and Documentation (CRD), Kano, Nigeria to probe into the different dimensions of economic informality and the significance of the informal economy in the wider civil society.  He joined the American Center for International Labour Solidarity in 2002 but resigned his position as a Senior Program Officer in 2010 and started organizing the Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) in fulfillment of his long – standing passion to help organize working people in the informal sectors of the Nigerian economy. At a great personal sacrifice, he has led several campaigns on the streets to struggle against entrenched traditions of oppression and repression of informal workers. Since the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and its terrible impacts on working people in the informal sectors, he has devoted more attention towards ensuring that basic social insurance services especially health insurance, as well as life and accident insurance are extended to the working people in the informal sectors. Hundreds of informal workers have now enrolled in these programs for the first time.