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Gambari resumes work as new Chief of Staff to the President

….Nigerians hail his appointment of CoS Buhari

…say he will add value to governance

President Muhammadu Buhari’s new Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, has resumed work early on Wednesday and was received on arrival at the Presidential Villa by Senior Presidency officials including the Director of Protocol, Yakubu Ahmed and the Permanent Secretary State House, Tijani Umar.
Others include the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Office of the Vice President,
Abdullahi Gwari, as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garuba Shehu, who all ushered him into the Aso Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
The appointment of Gambari as the new Chief of staff to the President, twenty- six days after the death of former Chief of staff, Abba Kyari, has been applauded by Nigerians
This is as official announcement of his appointment was still being awaited.
Before his new appointment, the retired diplomat holds the record of being the Nigeria’s longest serving Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations, from January 1990 to October 1999
As Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN, he was a senior member of the Nigerian Delegation to ten consecutive sessions of the General Assembly (44th to 54th), where he also served as President of the Security Council on two occasions (May 1994 and October 1995).
He had earlier served as the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in October 1983, a position he held until his appointment as the youngest ever Minister of External Affairs during Buhari/Idiagbon administration in December 1983.
Ibrahim Gambari will be 76 years old by November, this year and nine years older than Abba Kyari, having been born on November 24, 1944, in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Chairman of Civil Society and Legislative Advocacy  Center, Auwal Ibrahim ( Rafsanjani) in his reaction, said  Gambari will certainly add value to Buhari’s administration.
He described Gambari who is also founder of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental “think-tank” group, as one of their own.
The Center is devoted to critical analyses of – and solutions to – the problems of conflict prevention, management and resolution, as well as democratization and sustainable development in Africa
According to Ibrahim , “Gambari’s appointment will certainly add value to the Buhari’s administration, because he will command the respect of Cabinet Ministers”.
Political pundits who spoke to Businessday acknowledged that Gambari has “none of the baggage” that is associated with many of his peers who had served before”.
The Buhari administration is also expected to gain on the diplomatic front as Gambari is highly respected on the international front.
” He is bringing his several years of experience both from the academic and diplomatic fronts to bear on the Buhari administration,” according to Auwal Ibrahim.
Elder Statesman, Tanko Yakassai also applauded Buhari for the appointment, saying it is the “best decision taken by the President.
“He has the experience to do the job and will bring speed to the implementation of policies since he is expected to be coordinating the Ministers”
Gambari had his early education at the Kings College, Lagos, after which he went to the London School of Economics where he obtained a B.Sc. (Economics) degree in Political Science with a specialty in International Relations.
He is also a product of the prestigious New York’s Columbia University, where he obtained his PhD in Political Science/ International Relations.
He had a brief stint lecturing at the City University of New York and the State University of New York (Albany) in 1969-74 and thereafter returned to Nigeria where he taught at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and rose to the rank of Professor in 1983,  where he had earlier served as Head of the Department of Political Science in 1982-1983, during which he founded the first undergraduate Programme in International Studies in Nigeria.
Gambari served as Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in Baltimore; lecturer at both Georgetown University and Howard University in Washington, D.C.; a Research Fellow at Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C and a Resident Scholar at Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Centre, Italy.
Aside chairing the UN Special Committee on Peace Keeping Operations from 1990-1999, Gambari led several United Nations missions, including the Special Committee against Apartheid and the Security Council missions to South Africa, Burundi, Rwanda and Mozambique.
He also served as member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) from 1993 to 1999 and also as President of the Executive Board of UNICEF (January to December, 1999).
Gambari authored several articles on national and international scholarly journals, including the Theory and Reality in Foreign Policy Decision Making, Comparative Study of Regional Economic Integration; the Case of ECOWAS and The Domestic Politics of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy.
Amongst the several awards and recognitions conferred on him during his distinguished diplomatic and scholarly career,  he is the first African to be conferred with the title of ‘Honorary Professor by Chugsan University’ which was founded by and named after Dr. Sun Yat Sen, leader of the 1911 Peasant Revolution and first President of Nationalist China.
The University of Bridgeport (USA) also awarded him the Doctor of Humane Letters degree (honoris causa) in 2002; the prestigious Johns Hopkins University elected him to membership of the University’s Society of Scholars in 2002 and the Government of Nigeria awarded him the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 2003. He was also honoured by various associations including the Nigerian Lawyer Association, New York in 2006.
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