2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture


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Humanitarian Crisis and Response in a Plural Society: What Role for Leadership?

About the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture

MAIN GOAL:  As part of activities to memorial of the death in office of General Murtala Muhammed, The 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture will be held in Abuja on Monday, February 13.

This year’s lecture will focus on the theme: “Humanitarian Crisis and Response in a Plural Society: What Role for Leadership?”. The keynote address of the public lecture will be delivered by His Excellency, Governor Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno state, with a focus on “Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State; Experiences and lessons for a multi-party, multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria”.

With the growing rounds of violence and unrest in communities across the country, there is a need for effective humanitarian response and development programming which requires effective leadership.
At a policy level, humanitarian thinking around leadership assumes several functions. There is a growing recognition that highly individualised model of leadership may not be effective in humanitarian contexts. The views are currently evolving to seeing leadership as a function not just of the individual, but of the organisation, the team and the individual working together.

Leaders have the capacity for informed effective action, understanding of contexts and trends, the development of self-awareness, and the ability to model and encourage adaptation, also an important recognition that responsibility for humanitarian action cannot rest in the hands of a single person but should be shared, leading to the formation of broad-based Humanitarian Teams tasked with supporting humanitarian leaders and improving the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

This public lecture will also draw attention to the legacy created by the late General in office, in a period that is still described today as Nigeria’s finest period in international diplomacy. He was a foremost Pan-African who placed Africa at the centre of Nigeria’s foreign policy and mobilized support for the liberation of other African countries from apartheid, colonialism and neo-Colonialism. In Nigeria, his administration fought corruption and indiscipline, while pursuing peace and security within our borders – he was a firm believer in a peaceful and united Nigeria within an integrated and prosperous Africa.


  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER: His Excellency, Governor Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno state.
  • PARTICIPANTS: A cross generational audience of leaders and influencers from all walks of life; cutting across leadership in relevant Federal & State Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, International Development Partners, the private sector, civil society, students, media and the arts.
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