Tribute on Prof Habu Shuaibu, Scholar Per Excellence
By Sani Usman Kukasheka
To say that the sad news of the demise of the highly respected Professor Habu Shuaibu Galadima, Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, is shocking to anyone that knew him, is an understatement because he exuded an unimaginable, enduring and wonderful character. He was calm, vivacious and radiated energy much to the chagrin of those who were acquainted with him. Sadly, however, on Sunday 20th December 2020 we woke up with the unbelievable news of his demise. But we take solace in the fact that it is God that give and take away lives and death is incumbent for all mortals.
I met him for the first time, when I reported for the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 40, 2018, at NIPSS, Kuru,Plateau State, precisely on the 19th February 2018. Instantly, he left an indelible impression of an honest, compassionate and easy going person. We subsequently met severally at the plenary, tea break and at times in his office where we discussed mutual and national issues during my stay as a participant at NIPSS,Kuru. It is important to note that despite his very tight schedule as Director of Research and the Chief Operating Officer of the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of NIPSS then, he still found time to lecture and make presentations which endeared him to the participants. Beyond that, he was such a mentor and father figure that make out time to guide and counsel participants on their projects and research topics.
Therefore, it was not surprising that Professor Habu Shuaibu Galadima was made the Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru on the expiration of the tenure of the then Acting Director General, Mr. Jonathan Juma.
We met once again on 16th December 2019, at a stakeholders meeting on National Security Strategy 2019, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where he made useful contributions which reflected his sterling expertise and academic qualities. As his former student, we also had private conversations on variety of issues bordering on national security.
Overtime we maintained communication and usually reached out to him on trending and crucial national issues whenever the need arise. His frank and objective contributions were always illuminating and reassuring.
Despite his enormous commitments as Director General NIPSS, Kuru, he made ample time to watch my media appearances and interviews and the feedback from him were always invaluable, motivating and encouraging. I recall a particular instance when after my appearance on one of the television Stations programmes, he sent me the following comment via Whatsapp; “Good evening Gen SK, I watched you on Channels TV with rapt attention this evening. Your eloquent and coherent discussion make us proud. The military will take a while to have a spokesperson like you. Your retirement has left a huge gap there. May Allah continue to bless and guide you.” Such encouraging comment and many of his subsequent feedbacks always inspire and make me proud.
Indeed,his appointment as the Director General of NIPSS was one of the laudable decisions of the Federal Government of Nigeria judging by the positive comments and encomiums from various strata of the Nigerian society. His appointment was further justified based on the unprecedented way he transformed NIPSS, the apex national think-tank, within a short period he served as Director General before his demise.
Professor Habu Shuaibu Galadima was indeed a man of good and exemplary character as he inspired many and touched our hearts beyond what words could say or adequately describe. He taught, encouraged and motivated uncountable number of people either as his students, course participants and staff while alive. Therefore, his death, was a personal loss to me, the family, NIPSS, all those that knew him and the nation at large.
Adieu the intellectual giant of our time and a gentleman per excellence.
Professor, we shall continue to treasure your memory and good deeds. May Allah forgive all your shortcomings and grant you aljannah firdausi, amen.
Brig Gen Sani Usman Kukasheka (rtd) mni FNIPR fapra mnarc DFIOARM, Consultant Director, Corporate Affairs and Information, Nigerian Army Resource Centre Abuja and Managing Director/CEO, Mahangi Communication Services, Abuja.