The Most humbled Professor Thomas Akhigbe Imobighe, a renowned EXPERT IN DEFENCE AND SECURITY has died at 70.
In a statement by family members and friends, he died earlier hours yesterday .
Untill his death he was the Director of Studies at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, Nigeria. Prior to his last sojourn at the National Institute, he was the Director and founder of the Centre for Strategic and Development Studies (CSDS), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State—a Centre established for higher degree studies and advanced research in Strategic, Policy and Development Studies.
He has imparted and impacted too many but exits without notice. Hmmm! Prof Tom Imobighe was a loving husband, caring father and grandfather, compassionate friend, an honest patriot, dependable brother, lover peace, a man for the people, erudite in scholarship, detailed in teaching, lover of his people, an admirer of everything good and hard work, respecter of the masses, activist and fighter against illiteracy, a renowned expert in defence and security, was until recently, the Director of Studies at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, Nigeria. Prior to his last sojourn at the National Institute, he was the Director and founder of the Centre for Strategic and Development Studies (CSDS), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State—a Centre established for higher degree studies and advanced research in Strategic, Policy and Development Studies.
Professor Imobighe was born in Iraede village of Ozalla clan in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. After his elementary education in his home State, he attended the University of Ibadan where he obtained B.A. Honours (History) in 1970. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom for his higher degrees and enrolled in the Strategic Studies programme of the Department of International Politics, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, where he obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Strategic Studies in 1973 and 1975 respectively.
On his return from the United Kingdom, he taught courses in international relations and strategic doctrines at the University of Lagos between 1975 and 1979 before leaving for Kuru as one of the pioneer staff of the newly founded National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies. There he served as a Senior Fellow and Head of the Defence and Security Division of the Research Department of the Institute between 1979 and 1988, before taking up the Chair of Political Science at the then Bendel State (now Ambrose Alli) University, Ekpoma. He served the University in many capacities until his retirement in 2010. Among the important positions he held are Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, (FASS) Member of the Governing Council and Chairman of many Committees. The last position he held prior to his retirement in 2010 was the Director of the Centre for Strategic and Development Studies (CSDS), which he founded.
Professor Imobighe has served as guest lecturer in strategic and related fields in many of Nigeria’s security institutions, including the Police Staff College, Jos, the Command and Staff College, Jaji, the Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Defence College (formerly National War College), Abuja. Professor Imobighe has also run conflict/crisis management training courses for different organizations, including the staff of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), the Presidency, Abuja, under the NORAD/UNDP Short- term Training Programme.
Professor has served as a Conflict/Crisis Management Consultant to the National Defence College, Abuja; conducting simulation exercises since 1995.
Other institutions for whom he has run crisis management exercises are the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru since the 1980s and the Institute of Security Studies, Abuja, 2010-2011. His expertise in conflict/crisis management has been carried beyond the borders of this country as he has also served as Crisis Management Training Resource Person/Consultant for the United Nations Training Workshops for Senior African Military and Civilian Officials, in Lome, Togo, in 1988 and Arusha, Tanzania, in March 1990.
Imobighe has served his country in many other capacities, including appointments as Commissioner and a founding Member of the National Boundary Commission, the Presidency (1989-1992); a Member of the Presidential Advisory Committee (1994-1999), and a Member of the Defence Policy Review Committee (2000-2001). Professor Imobighe was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Fairfax, United States, in 1990, He was also a Peace Fellow at United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington, D.C., in 1992; during which he carried out a comparative study of the conflict management activities of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, now AU) and Organisation of American States (OAS).
At USIP, Professor Imobighe was awarded a certificate on August 31, 1992 in “appreciation for his personal contribution to strengthening the nation’s capacity to promote peaceful resolution of international conflict.” Professor Imobighe has published widely nationally and internationally. He lives on in his publications that are to his credit, including journal articles, edited and fully authored books and monographs: Among the recent ones are:
1.The New International System and African Security, CASS Monograph No. 11, .
2.Conflict and Instability in the Niger Delta: The Warri Case, co-authored with Bassey & Asuni;
3.The OAU (AU) and OAS in Regional Conflict Management: A Comparative Assessment;
4.Civil Society and Ethnic Conflict Management in Nigeria;
5. The African Crisis Response Initiative: Issues and Perspectives, co-edited with Zabadi at National War College Press,
6. Nigeria’s Defence and National Security Linkages and many much more. Until, Prof. (As he was fondly called) sojourned to joined Our Lord. He was a father-figure, mentor, counsellor, and role model to me. There are so many beautiful things to say about Prof. T.A. Imobighe that puts me on a high. REST IN PEACE, MAN OF PEACE. We all missed but Certainly God loves you better.
Adieu Odionmå ni prof. May his soul rest in peace.