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, reportedly met with the president yesterday at the State House in Abuja.
The new Chief of Staff, is expected to be unveiled today during the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Gambari was the first Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). In that capacity, he worked closely with heads of government, key policymakers as well as institutions in the continent to develop the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). During this period, he was concurrently the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola (2002-2003). He has been a delegate to the Assembly of the African Union as a national delegate (1984-1985) and as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s delegation (2000-2012).
Ambassador Gambari, is currently the Founder/Chairman of Savannah Center External link in Abuja, Nigeria, a think-tank for research, training and public policy debate on the nexus between diplomacy (conflict resolution), democracy and development in Africa. His last assignment at the United Nations was as the Joint Special Representative of the Secretary General and Chairperson of the African Union Commission/Head of the UN and AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) from January 2010 to July 2012. During Ambassador Gambari’s tenure, UNAMID was the world’s largest international peacekeeping mission.
The Ambassador has held several leadership positions at the national, regional and international levels and has built extensive contacts with governments as well as public and private institutions, especially in Africa.
He was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994) during which he worked closely with African governments to coordinate UN policy to eradicate apartheid, thereby building trust and confidence with governments and policymakers in member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He was the Minister for External Affairs between 1984 and 1985 under the then military Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
As an academic, Prof. Gambari began his teaching career at the City University of New York. He also taught at the University of Albany while he was also served as a Visiting Professor at three universities in Washington DC: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Georgetown University and Howard University.
In Nigeria, Prof. Gambari was also a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Professor Ibrahim Gambari was the pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University. He was appointed in 2013 by former Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Before his appointment as the new Chief of Staff, he was the Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.