Late Joe Garba
By Tokunbo Adedoja
Family and friends of former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, late Maj. Gen. Joe Garba, paid glowing tributes to him at his 10th anniversary memorial service last weekend.
At the memorial service held at St. Augustine's Catholic Church, New City, New York, the priest who delivered the sermon, Father Charles Imokhai, described Garba as a devout Catholic who loved God and strived to do what was right.
Recalling his career in the military and as a diplomat, Father Imokhai also described him as a true Nigerian who served his country with all his strength.
Prayers were also offered for the repose of his soul at the memorial service which had his wife, Evelyn, and children - Joseph, Ramya, Farey, Nanre and Selya - among those in attendance.
At the reception held at La Terrazza Restaurant, guests also recalled fond memories of the former Nigerian diplomat.
A collection of his speeches, excerpts and musings titled: "Hope, Resolve and Change", was also presented to all those present at the event.
The book noted his contributions to the anti-apartheid struggle as President of the World Conference for Action Against Apartheid, and chairman, United Nations Committee Against Apartheid in South Africa.
Also highlighted in the book was his role as Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister in assisting Angola and Zimbabwe to get independence from Portugal and Britain respectively.
Garba, who died on June 1, 2002, was commander, Brigade of Guards during General Gowon regime, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, and Director General,
National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS). He was also elected President of the 44th Session of the UN General Assembly.