Memorial Lecture In Honour Of Late Prof Habu Galadima, Former DG Of NIPSS On 13/03/2021
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE MEMORIAL LECTURE IN HONOUR OF LATE PROF. HABU GALADIMA, AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR POLICY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES, KURU, JOS, ON THE 13TH OF MARCH, 2021
In the rather short period, I had to interact with him, Professor Galadima made a truly indelible impression on me. To start with, I could not but notice the fresh energy and calm impetus that he brought to bear upon his duties as the Director-General of the National Institute.
He had a deep conviction about the need to reposition the institute as the country’s foremost think tank and one of the leading institutions on the continent. This reflected most vividly in the profundity of his thoughts and his diligence and devotion to his assignment as Director-General.
I came to learn that this was not a new-found path for Professor Galadima. Right through his distinguished career, he had robustly engaged some of our nation’s most pressing challenges, notably those revolving around conflict, peace-building, security, federalism and demilitarization.
His intellectual interventions, research and conversations about the future of our nation, always showed great hope born not just out of patriotism, but from his own lived experience as a highly successful academic and public intellectual. His studies, consulting and teaching all around the Commonwealth and internationally, clearly showed him the immense capabilities of our nation and he never ceased to express this. He and I spoke about a new emphasis for the institute which is thinking through implementation. That we have to go beyond being a think tank, we have to be a do-tank.
I first met Professor Galadima in 2015, he was then a Directing Staff, when the then Management Staff and Alumni of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) paid me a courtesy call and briefed me on the activities and challenges of the Institute. At the meeting, he easily distinguished himself as deeply reflective and forward-thinking. Within the short period, he served as Director-General of the Institute, Prof. Galadima built bridges of relationships and fellowships across intellectual divides and all other known obstacles.
He initiated various reforms aimed at repositioning the Institute to accomplish its mandates, including a review of the criteria for admission of candidates into the Senior Executive Course (SEC) and the quality of research works undertaken by the SEC participants. He also paid prominent attention to the welfare of his staff. He constantly consulted with my office on ways to handle emerging challenges, and he struck me as a good team player who always carried his colleagues along in the implementation of the Institute’s mandate.
At what turned out to be our last meeting, on December 3 last year, Professor Galadima led members of the 42nd Senior Executive Course to the customary parley with Mr. President and Ministers at the State House. As I recall very clearly, his comments and contributions were incisive, as he opened the discussion and introduced the research report produced by the graduating students. Then, as always, his desire for a greater Nigeria and a more impactful Institute was clear and unmistakable.
Thereafter, I had another session with him and the institute’s management team later that day. This time the discussion focused on the institute and its administration; strenuous efforts to make it better still. Sadly, that would be the last time that I saw him. Urgent matters of state kept me from personally attending the Graduation Ceremony of the 42nd Course, and that would be my first time being the guest of honour that I would not attend. Sadly, I didn’t have the honour of meeting him on that occasion.
Regardless, this is how I will remember Professor Galadima – as an intellectual and a distinguished forthright public servant, who devoted himself tirelessly to the task of elevating the institution over which he had been given charge, and who answered the call of duty right until the moment he drew his last breath.
It was my pleasure to have worked with Professor Galadima and it is my prayer that his family, friends and associates would receive comfort, grace and fortitude at this time of loss.
I also hope that his dreams for the National Institute will come to fruition and that those whose lives he touched will carry on and entrench his legacy. May his memory be always blessed.
Thank you very much.