Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has resumed duty.
He reported for duty on May 13, 2020 at the Presidential Villa where he was received by Buhari’s aides.
Gambari who replaced late Mr Abba Kyari who died of coronavirus early April, was received by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday formally presented former Minister of Foreign to members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as the new Chief of Staff to the President.
The appointment of Gambari as the new CoS to the President, was unofficially announced by some traditional and social media outfits on Tuesday, some quoting the Emir of Ilorin as their source.
However, the SGF shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the FEC, confirmed that President Buhari approved the appointment of Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to President.
Gambari, who was Buhari’s Foreign Minister and confidant as military Head of State in the 1980s, replaced Malam Abba Kyari, who died last month of COVID-19.
Chief of Staff has since resumed work where he is currently participating in the maiden virtual meeting of the FEC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Gambari, an Ilorin prince, served as minister of External Affairs between 1984 and 1985. He was appointed by former United Nations Secretary 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.
Gambari has also served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nation for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and about seven ministers were physically present at the Council Chamber for the maiden virtual meeting of the Council.
The affected Ministers include that of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono. Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Others at the Council Chamber are the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamma; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo as well as theNational Security Adviser to the President, retired Maj.-Gen.Babagana Mungonu, while other ministers participated in the meeting directly from their respective offices.
Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari, CFR, OCORT, a scholar-diplomat, is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental think-tank on research, policy studies, advocacy and training on the nexus between conflict prevention and resolution, democratisation and development in Africa.
He has had an illustrious career, spanning academia, government and international diplomacy, culminating with his appointment as the first United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). He was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994) and on Peace-Keeping Operations (1990—1999). He was Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007) and also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar and Special Representative in Angola.
Earlier, he was Minister of External Affairs (1984-1985) and subsequently Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999). Professor Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID (2010-2012). He is currently a Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
Professor Gambari attended the Provincial (now Government) Secondary School, Ilorin before proceeding to the Floreat Collegium Kings College, Lagos. He received his BSc (Econs) degree from the London School of Economics (1968) and his MA and PhD in Political Science/International Relations (1970, 1974) from Columbia University, USA. He has taught at universities in the Unites States, Nigeria and Singapore and has to his credit the authorship of a number of books.
He has received several academic and national honours, including the “Commander of Federal Republic of Nigeria” (CFR), and the “Order of the Champion of the Oliver R. Tambo” (OCORT) of South Africa. He is the Pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Ilorin, Nigeria, as well as the current Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (BUK). He is a married with children and grandchildren.