By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Defence College (NDC) on Friday, unveiled the Strategic Leadership Biography on Lt.-Gen. Chikadibia Obiakor, titled “Rough Road to Peace” as its leadership series.
The Commandant of NDC, Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, said the leadership series was part of NDC Centre for Strategic Research and Studies work plan activities.
Bashir said the college had an important and long growing module on strategic leadership in its flagship higher defense and strategies studies course.
He said the center had in 2017 conceived the idea of a strategic leadership study series to facilitate the module and in keeping with its academic and research support role to the college.
The idea, according to him, was one of the key lines of effort in the center’s work plan 2018-2020, which was approved by the College Board in December 2017.
The commandant said the series was conceived to produce biographies, memoirs and monographs that document the professional experiences of selected, serving or retired military and civilian personalities in strategic leadership positions in Nigeria with a view to drawing lessons for posterity.
The aim, he said, was to promote values of strategic leadership garnered from the lives and careers of strategic leaders to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s participation in international peacekeeping and peace support operations, which began in 1960.
According to him, the first two publications focus on two very senior retired Nigerian army officers like one on Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, and today the college is launching the biography of Lt.-Gen. Chikadibia Obiakor.
“It is pertinent to say that Gen. Agwai became the first commander of the hybrid United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur while Lt.-Gen. Obiakor served as the first commander of the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
“The book, “Rough road to peace” is the second publication in the series that chronicles the life and career of retired senior Nigerian army officers for which we are gathered here today.
“Lt.-Gen. Obiakor had a distinguished career in the Nigerian army where he rose to the top hierarchy and also played prominent roles at the international scene.
He served as Deputy Force commander and force commander in various peacekeeping missions in Africa and as the first Nigerian to occupy and perform in the substance of military adviser at the United Nations.
“I, therefore, want to thank the general for agreeing to share his vision, experiences and lessons that lends credence to a comprehensive biographical exploration of the NDC’s theme of strategic leadership which made it possible for this book launch today,” he said.
Bashir commended the efforts of the authors and research team that worked for the successful completion of the book.
He said that work was currently ongoing on the third biography in the series, which he said should be ready for public presentation by the first quarter of 2023.
He thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for his encouragement and support to the college.
Speaking on the book, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said the book was worthy of reading, adding that road to peace was often difficult and also long.
Gambari said the book could not have been compiled by any other institution than NDC with local and international reputation.
He commended the giant strides of the college in authoring and publishing the second book in the College’s leadership biography Series to document for posterity, the defining moments in the life and times of Obiakor.
According to him, the book is what the younger generation could read to learn from their experiences and their contributions.
“This is indeed a tradition that must be inculcated as the institution continues to grow and to expand and to make its impact.
“There is nothing that enriches the quality of collection such as experience and knowledge sharing and exchange.
“Lt.-Gen. Obiakor is a fine officer and a gentleman.
“As a layman, I am going to say that not all officers are gentlemen and not all gentlemen are officers. So when you have your combination truly of a gentleman and an officer, this is something to commemorate and commend,” he said.
Gambari said that Obiakor was a practitioner of international military diplomacy, international peacemaking and international peace building, adding that his experience and contribution were really outstanding.
Also speaking, Lt.-Gen. Obiakor said he had worked for about 40 years, adding that he was delighted that the college decided to document something about his life and career.
He said he was yet to do his autobiography to reveal some certain things that people needed to know about him and use.
“As an academic environment, you need such things about people who have some ideas, who have done certain things for other people to take a look at them and apply them,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola