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Nigerian President Buhari appoints new Chief of Staff


NEW YORK – OCTOBER 5: United Nations special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari speaks during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in Myanmar October 5, 2007 in New York City. Gambari briefed the Security Council on his visit to Myanmar. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Ibrahim Gambari speaks during a past U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in Myanmar in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Ibrahim Gambari is the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Presidency confirmed on Wednesday.

The appointment was announced at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Gambari, 75, succeeds Abba Kyari who died from complications from COVID-19 nearly a month ago.

Kyari, who was in his 70s and had underlying health problems including diabetes, was the highest profile death due to the disease in the West African country. He was viewed as one of the most powerful individuals in Africa’s most populous nation.

Gambari is currently a Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Gambari, a career diplomat, has previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of External Affairs under Buhari in the 1980s. He was also a Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to various countries and Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID.

According to an academic at the French Institute of International Relations, Gambari’s appointment should probably allow President Buhari, who usually has very little focus on international issues, to develop a more effective foreign policy.

“He’ll play a more traditional role as chief of staff to a president, compared to Kyari, with the added bonus of international relations expertise thanks to his experience and extensive networks abroad,” Benjamin Auge told AFP.

A political analyst, Dapo Thomas, said the appointment will give more credibility, recognition, and respect to President Buhari.

“Gambari is a seasoned and respected diplomat who has played significant roles in the international arena,” Thomas told AFP.





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