Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has been appointed the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, replacing 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 1984, met with the president about 8.00 a.m. yesterday at the State House in Abuja.
The new Chief of Staff, presidential sources said yesterday, would be unveiled today during the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Gambari, as foreign minister, played a key role in quelling the diplomatic uproar generated by the failed attempt to forcefully remove the former Minister of Transport, Mallam Umaru Dikko, from the United Kingdom by the Buhari military government in 1984.
A scholar and seasoned diplomat, the new principal aide to the president was once Nigeria’s United Nations Permanent Representative and was later appointed by former United Nations Secretary -General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, as Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur in 2010.
He also served as Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the UN Secretary-General. Prior to that, he served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
The new chief of staff, an Ilorin prince, was born on November 24, 1944.
His brother, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, was the first to congratulate him yesterday even as the official announcement was awaited.
He praised the president for the appointment.
In a statement in Ilorin by his media aide, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, the monarch described the appointment as a great honour to the entire people of Ilorin Emirate and residents of the state at large.
He said the choice of the former diplomat would be justified by his 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.
While congratulating Gambari on the new appointment, the monarch wished him a successful tenure in office even as he expressed confidence in his ability to justify the confidence reposed in him by Buhari.
The Emir said: “He will surely bring to fore his wealth of experience as an academic, former minister, former diplomat, former University Chancellor, prince of the renowned Alimi Dynasty, family man and community leader of high repute.”