Joe Garbas Legacy
Selected Speeches and Lectures
On National Governance, Confronting
Apartheid and Foreign Policy
Joseph Nanven Garba came to international attention in July 1975, as a member of Supreme Military Council in Nigerias new military government. Then a Colonel, the commander of the Brigade of Guards and a distinguished career officer, fate, which some call luck, thrust upon him the role of Commissioner (Minister) for External Affairs, after initially being slotted for the Transport portfolio. A diplomatic neophyte, Garba, who characterized himself as the most undiplomatic soldier there was, would learn the finer points and also the caprices of international diplomacy on the job. He did well, serving as Nigerias foreign minister, from 1975-1978 and consequently holding key diplomatic, academic and political positions - all which offered him the unfettered pulpit to speak assertively on national and international issues within his remit. When Garba spoke, people listened; for he was eloquent, had the personality and did not dodge heady issues. He had gone from an unknown quantity, whose appointment as Foreign Minister, had elicited from the Nigerian intelligentsia the terse reaction, Garba Who? to become a skillful and renowned diplomat and an assured voice of Nigeria. The thirty-two speeches and lectures in this volume represent just a fraction of the many he delivered. They are presented in remembrance and as a befitting legacy on the tenth anniversary of his passing.