Monarchs React to Gambari’s Emergence as Buhari’s Chief of Staff
Reactions have continued to trail the widely reported appointment of Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
With the appointment, which is yet to be officially confirmed by the Presidency, Gambari will replace Mallam Abba Kyari, who died last month of COVID-19.
Gambari, who was Buhari’s Foreign Minister and confidant as military Head of State in the 1980s, was reported to have met with the President at about 8am on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja.
Speaking on the development, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing the diplomat as CoS.
In a statement, the Emir described the appointment as “a great honour” to the entire people of Ilorin and Kwarans at large.
He said the choice of the former diplomat would be justified by “outstanding contributions, administrative experience, scholarship and excellence which he would inject into the Buhari-led government towards ensuring good governance, democratic dividends as well as shared prosperity in the nation”.
“He will surely bring to fore his wealth of experience as an academician, former Minister, former Diplomat, former University Chancellor, Prince of the renowned Alimi dynasty, family man and community leader of high repute,” he said in the statement.
Also reacting, another traditional ruler, Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi commended President Buhari on the appointment.
Oba Akanbi described Gambari as a capable and incorruptible scholar, saying the appointee will be an asset to the presidency.
In a statement, the monarch hinted on the administrative prowess of the Kwara born scholar, assuring presidency of his charismatic sagacity, shrewdness and administrative virility.
The new Chief of Staff may resume immediately as it is expected that President Buhari will preside over the Inaugural virtual meeting of the federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday.
Born on November 24, 1944, in Ilorin Emirate of Kwara State, he attended the London School of Economics where he obtained his B. Sc. (Economics) degree (1968) with specialisation in International Relations and later obtained his M.A. (1970) and PhD. (1974) degrees from Columbia University, New York, the USA in Political Science /International Relations.
He began his academic career in 1969 at City University of New York before working at University of Albany. He also lectured at Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria before he was appointed External Affairs Minister between 1984 and 1985.
He was also a Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Georgetown University and Howard University.
He has been a research fellow at the Brookings Institution also in Washington D.C. and a Resident Scholar at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, the Rockefeller Foundation-run centre in Italy.
Apart from serving as External Affairs Minister, he was Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations from 1990 to 1999; President of UNICEF in 1999; Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Adviser on Africa from 1999 to 2005; Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2007.
His last assignment at the United Nations was as the joint special representative of the secretary general and chairperson of the African Union Commission/gead of the UN and AU hybrid mission in Darfur (UNAMID) from January 2010 to July 2012.
UNAMID under Gambari was the world’s largest international peacekeeping mission
In 2013, he was appointed the pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University, making him the ceremonial head of the university. He is also co-chair of the Albright-Gambari Commission.
He is currently the founder/chairman of Savannah Center External link in Abuja, a think-tank for research, training and public policy debate on the nexus between diplomacy (conflict resolution), democracy and development in Africa.