…Atiku, Saraki, Sanwo-Olu, AbdulRazaq Laud Appointment
…Fani-Kayode, Omokri, Adeyanju Fault President’s Choice
By Augustine Akhilomen
Reactions for and against has trailed the official appointment of Professor Ibrahim Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gambari replaces late CoS, Abba Kyari who died of COVID-19 complications in April.
The retired diplomat hails from Ilorin, Kwara State. His appointment was officially announced by the Presidency on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The renowned diplomat may have pledged total commitment to the administration of President Buhari, but a section of Nigerians have described his appointment as a furtherance to the actualization of the Fulani agenda without according opportunities to the young generation.
Another school of thought holds the view that Gambari’s appointment would usher better services to the President, which in turn would yield good results for the country.
Reacting, former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku expressed hope that Gambari will deploy his varied skills to the service of the country.
“Congratulations Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR on your appointment as Chief of Staff to @MBuhari. It is my hope and expectation and those of millions of Nigerians that you will deploy your varied skills garnered over the years in the service of our nation,” Atiku posted on his social media handle.
In the same vein, former Senate President Bukola Saraki has congratulated the new Chief of Staff to the President.
Saraki, a former governor of Kwara State where Gambari hails from, described the new Chief of Staff as a decent man, cerebral academic and dsciplined diplomat.
“I congratulate Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari on his appointment as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Prof. Gambari is a decent man, a cerebral academic, disciplined diplomat and he is coming in with the necessary pedigree that will help him to do well on the job.
“I have no doubt that he will succeed on this onerous assignment. I urge all Nigerians to give him all the support that he needs to perform in office,” Saraki said.
In addition, Governor of Kwara AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq described the appointment as “a befitting development that is rooted in dedication, loyalty, and history”.
“The appointment is clearly fit for purpose and is deserving for our own Professor Gambari whose record of service as a diplomat and global statesman is unblemished,” the statement read.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Kwara State, I congratulate the Wambai Ilorin for this historic appointment.
“Professor Gambari has always been one of the ‘President’s men’ for decades and it is not surprising that he has been appointed at this crucial moment to serve as his chief of staff.
“We commend Mr. President for yet again honouring not just one of his renowned loyalists of all time but also the people of Kwara State who still relive his relationship with one of Nigeria’s finest military officers and son of Kwara, late Major-General Tunde AbdulBaki Idiagbon.
“We pray the Almighty Allah to guide and protect Professor Gambari on this delicate national assignment and to not stop his blessings and protection for President Muhammadu Buhari whose administration continues to impact positively in the lives of the masses.”
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu also Sanwo-Olu while congratulating Gambari described him as the right man for the job.
Sanwo-Olu in a statement signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile said Professor Gambari is a man of impeccable character, right temperament, leadership and knowledge.
He said: ‘‘The choice of Professor Gambari as successor to the late Mallam Abba Kyari by President Muhammadu Buhari is commendable. Gambari is not just an academic or a diplomat, he is a fine gentleman, a decent Nigerian who epitomizes the Nigerian dream.”
In the same vein, APC has congratulated Prof. Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, describing him as a round peg in a round hole.
APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu noted that “without any iota of doubt, the appointment has, once again, demonstrated President Buhari’s avowed commitment to good governance by bringing on board competent Nigerians from all parts of the world to assist him in taking Nigeria to the Next Level”.
The ruling party added that Gambari’s experience and suitability for the strategic office of Chief of Staff is not in doubt.
“A respected scholar, former minister, and a highly-regarded diplomat, who has worked at the highest level in the United Nations, including being the Under Secretary General of the Department of Political Affairs, Chairperson, African Union-UN Special Representative for Dafur and currently the Special Adviser on International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues to the UN Secretary General, founder of Savannah Center – a research, development, diplomacy and public policy think-tank and co-chair of the Albright-Gambari Commission – addressing issues such as state fragility, climate change, and the cyber‐economy, Gambari’s appointment is well-thought-out and speaks volumes of the President’s penchant for excellence”, the party said.
“Indeed, Professor Gambari ticks all the boxes as a round peg in a round hole. The APC is confident that Gambari, a Prince of Ilorin Emirate, will bring to bear his scholarly intellect, international network, professional and administrative experience in ensuring smooth running of the office of the president and support the government to provide good governance and successfully deliver the Next Level programmes for the benefit of Nigerians. “While our great party assures Gambari of needed support and cooperation, we wish him success in his services to our great country and the people”.
Kicking against Gambari’s appointment as Chief of Staff was former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and Convener of pro-democracy group, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju.
The duo condemned President Buhari’s appointment of Professor Gambari as his new Chief of Staff.
FFK via his official twitter handle on Wednesday said that his appointment was an attempt for the current govt to actualize Fulani agenda.
“With the appointment of Gambari as Chief of Staff, for the first time in our history, we have a Fulani President & a Fulani Chief of Staff both serving a Fulani Govt. with a Fulani agenda”-
Also, Adeyanju claimed that Gambari was a member of the cabal allegedly headed by Buhari himself.
In a tweet, the activist alleged that Gambari had been with Buhari for over 40 years even before the president married Aisha.
He wrote: “Didn’t I say the CoS that will be appointed will make Abba Kyari look like a saint?
“The new Chief of Staff is a member of the cabal. He has been with Buhari for over 40 years even before he married Aisha Buhari. Bury all the conspiracy theories. Buhari is the cabal.”
Also, Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday mocked President Muhammadu Buhari over the appointment of Ibrahim Gambari as his Chief of Staff, CoS.
Omokri, in an apparent sarcasm, said Buhari improved on the age of his late CoS by appointing Gambari who is 75 years of age.
In a tweet, the former presidential aide said under Buhari the young die so that the older generation can live.
According to Omokri: “General Buhari is indeed a listening leader. I commend him!
“We complained about Abba Kyari’s age (67) and General Buhari heard us and improved on the age by appointing a 75-year-old to succeed a 67-year-old!
“In Buhari’s Nigeria, the young die so that the old may live! That is why Nigeria’s economy is dying!
“General Buhari is 77, Justice Tanko is 66, Ahmed Lawan is 61, the average age of Buhari’s ministers is 55.
“And now they have appointed a 75-year-old as Chief of Staff. Mind you, these are all football ages! In Nigeria, we study history in our leaders, not in our schools!”