By Suleiman Umaru
Those who think that the death of Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as ‘’my dearest friend ‘’ b has created a vacuum in the Presidency that would be difficult to fill would be disappointed.
This is because the Katsina born Nigerian President in his search for a new Chief of Staff has eventually found a another suitable person for the office, Abgoola Ibrahim Gambari, a Professor and an indigene of Kwara, from the Royal Gamari family in Ilorin, the state Capital. Described in Academic and Diplomatic circles as an experienced Bureaucrat who has held several high profile appointments both within and outside the country including the United Nations, as an Under –secretary, many believe that he is an asst to the President.
Kyari, the late chief of Staff to the President may have been seen as a difficult person by politicians and political appointees, particular, ministers, who could not have easy access to the President as at when o because of the hardline position adopted him in dealing with them including the leadership of the National Assembly may find 75 yer-old Gambari, who knows the demand of the office a hard nut to crack. This may have informed why the Katsina state born Nigerian President appointed him to be his Chief of Staff couple with the fact that he is not a politician. Note that there were 37 card carrying members from the party jostling for the position who were jostling for the position , particular from the north east and the north central.
Among them were Babagana Kingibe, a Diplomat and former Secretary to the government of the Federation under the late General Sani Abacha’s Administration, Kashim Shetima, a former Borno state governor and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Adamu Adamu, minister of Education, Muhammed Musa Bello, minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,and Mala Buni, former APC , National Secretary.
Unknown to these political applicants, the president had his mind set for an apolitical person to occupy the sensitive position in his Administration instead of appointing a Politician who might to use the position to poticise the Presidency. It was not surprising why he appointed Gambari, a Competent and experienced Bureaucrat into the exalted office.
Appearing on Channels Television political programme on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 barely hours that Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Task force on COVID 19 and Secretary to the government of the Federation, made the announcement of his appointment as the new Chief of Staff , at the instance of the President, he had told those that cares to listen that his office ‘’is solely for the service of the President’’.
He noted that the appointment is not about him as Gambari but to do his job which is to ‘’provide the President with the best advice to organize his office and to make sure that the machinery of government runs smoothly’’. This is an indication that he is not there to serve the nation but to do the biddings of the President who appointed him as one of his kitchen staff.
He has already, sent a signal to Nigerians, mostly the politicians, who think that they can make the Presidential Villa their home or office in order to see the President to expect a very ‘’loyal, dedicated and efficient service to the President ‘’ and therefore, will not give room for such unscheduled visits. He disclosed that his duty as Chief of Staff is ‘’to ensure that the President’s priorities are carried out efficiently, properly and broadly’’, but without any distraction. ‘’I will serve the President to the best of my ability’’, he maintains.
This is bad news to the politicians and political appointees who had a running battle with Kyari, the late former Chief of Staff as they may have a much more difficult time seeing the President this time around, particular, now that he is occupied on how to curb the spread of the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Although Mustapha, the Secretary to the government had issued a Statement concerning his appointment around 10.30 amm but he had visited the Presidential Villa around 3.30 Pm He was said to have been thoroughly screened and his temperature checked and hand sanitised in accordance with the World Health organization, WHO, a United Nations, UN, Health agency and Nigerian center for Drug Control, NCDC, SOCIAL DISTANCING rules, including wearing his Face Mask, before being allowed into the main Presidential building where he was conducted round by the officials amidst tight security. The message may have sent to him that Villa is not a free for all persons except on invitation.
Given the general acceptance of the Kwara state born Diplomat as Buhari new Chief of Staff, he has continued to receive Congratulatory messages both within and outside the country. The Adams Oshimhole, led National Executive Committee, NEC, of the APC, have already sent a Congratulatory message to him duly signed by Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary.
The APC leadership noted that the President’s avowed commitment to good governance may have informed why he is bringing in on board competent Nigerians from all parts of the world to assist him in rebuilding Nigeria. The former Edo state governor, and other members of the party NEC, were said to have assured Gambari of their ’’support and Cooperation in order succeed in his new national assignment’’.
The nineteen northern states governors under the aegis of Northern Governors Forum, NGF, may have known that Gambari, the President’s new Chief of Staff is no easy push over that they have come out to Congratulate him over the well deserved appointment, described as ‘’timely’’, and promising ’’ to support him as he takes on this important role’’. The NGF, believe that his ‘’huge experience and knowledge on governance will enable him to perform well’’, which makes him an asset to the President.
Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau state, and Chairman, of the NGF, who could not hide his feelings said his’’ vast knowledge in administration both locally and internationally, will go a long way to assist the President in delivering on his electioneering Campaign promises to Nigerians’’.
Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state who described Gamari as a man of many parts, whose ‘’vast wealth of knowledge and experience remain unrivalled in Africa’’ said his appointment no doubt is a square peg in a round hole. He believes that just as llate Kyari played key role in the Buhari Administration and his first term in office and the second term before death claimed him last April, the Professor would not only ‘’fill the vacuum left by the late former Chief of Staff but will further add colour to the Administration’s achievements’’ in years ahead.
- President Muhammadu Buhari
- 2Prof. Ibrahim Gambari: Chief Of Staff To The President
- Boss Mustapha: Secretary To The Government of The Federation
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