A former National Secretary of the Labour Party, Dr Kayode Ajulo, said in Lagos on Wednesday that the new Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, would bring his robust international experience to bear in the affairs of Nigeria.
Ajulo made the announcement in a statement he sent to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reacting to the appointment of Gambari as the new CoS.
On Wednesday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, presented Gambari, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, to members of the Federal Executive Council as the new CoS to the President.
“We expect nothing else than those lofty ideas on good governance as being promoted by the UN and the Prof. Gambari-Albright Commission,” Ajulo said, describing the appointment as highly commendable.
Ajulo, who is also a constitutional lawyer, described the new CoS as a typical diplomat, who pushed a progressive foreign policy that made Nigeria to send peace-keeping force to Sierra Leone to restore democratic rule and also worked to stop the Rwandan genocide.
“Prof. Gambari, is a core technocrat with robust wealth of experience.
“I pray his appointment comes with the much-needed additional expertise and sanity in the country’s seat of power,’’ the lawyer said.
Gambari, a scholar and diplomat, is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of the 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 also had an illustrious career, spanning the academia, government and diplomacy, culminating to his appointment as the first UN Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005).
Gambari was the Chairman of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid (1990-1994) and was Head of the UN Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007) as well as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar and Special Representative in Angola.
He was Minister of External Affairs (1984-1985) and later Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN (1990-1999).
Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID (2010-2012). He is currently Chair of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism.
The new CoS attended Provincial (now Government) Secondary School, Ilorin before proceeding to Floreat Collegium King’s College, Lagos.
He received his BSc (Econs) degree from the London School of Economics (1968) and his MA and Ph.D in Political Science/International Relations (1970, 1974) from Columbia University, U.S.
Gambari has taught at universities in U.S. Nigeria and Singapore and has authored a number of books.
He has received several academic and national honours, including “Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” and the “Order of the Champion of Oliver R. Tambo” of South Africa.
Gambari is the pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University, Ilorin as well as the current pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of Bayero University, Kano. (NAN)