[PROFILE]: Who is Professor Ibrahim Gambari, President Buhari’s new Chief of Staff?
On Tuesday, May 12, there was an official statement that Professor Ibrahim Gambari would succeed the late Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The official announcement according to the Presidency will be made on Wednesday during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
President Buhari will preside over a virtual FEC meeting on Wednesday, the first since the lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is Professor Ibrahim Gambari?
His profile on the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa webpage reads as follows:
Ambassador Gambari, a Nigerian scholar-diplomat, 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 Ibrahim 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.
Ambassador Gambari 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).
At the global level, Ambassador Gambari was Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007). In that period, he also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar. On 22 May 2007, the Secretary-General entrusted him with the Good Offices Mandate on Myanmar. He was also appointed in 2007 by the Secretary-General as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Iraq Compact and Other Issues, positions he held until 2009. Before joining the United Nations, he served his country as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999). He was also Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria (1984-1985) and worked closely with regional leaders, institutions and governments, particularly within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the economic and political development of the sub-region. Prior to this, he was the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
As a scholar, Ambassador Gambari is the author of several books and scholarly articles. He began his teaching career as a Lecturer at the Queen’s College, City University of New York (1969-1974), followed by an Assistant Professorship at the State University of New York (1974-1977). Upon returning to Nigeria, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (1977-1980), and rose to become an Associate Professor (Reader), (1980-1983) and subsequently full Professor at the same University (1983 – present – currently on leave of absence).
Ambassador Gambari was a visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University and Howard University in Washington, D.C. from 1986 to 1989. Ambassador Gambari was also a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., as well as a Resident Scholar with the Rockefeller Foundation Centre in Bellagio, Italy.
A recipient of the third highest national honour, Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR), Ambassador Gambari has also been awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) form the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut (2002) and Farleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey (2006). Others include: Honorary Doctorate of Public Service, Chatham University (May 2008) and Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt), University of Ibadan, Nigeria (November 2011).
He has also received the Special Recognition for International Development and Diplomacy Award conferred by the Africa-America Institute (September 2007), the Distinguished (Foreign) Service Award by the Federal Government of Nigeria (April 2008), the International House Harry Edmonds Award for Lifetime Achievement, New York (May 2009) and the Campaign Against Genocide Medal by the Republic of Rwanda (July 2010).
Ambassador Gambari received South Africa’s highest national honour conferred on non-citizens, the Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo, which was conferred to him personally by President Jacob Zuma on 26 October 2012.
Professor Gambari was elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2002 and has since 2005 served as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, Zimbabwe. He was appointed as First Chancellor, Kwara State University in Nigeria, March 2013.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
MONDAY LINES: Almajirai’s Expedition To The South
COVID-19 may be composing a requiem for Nigeria. Or do you sincerely think the country would be the same again if the North’s unhealthy conducts explode in unimaginable deaths as is gradually evolving before our very eyes? The South’s zest for life or what the French call joie de vivre, won’t let them allow the … Read full story
CACOVID, NCDC To Support Oyo Govt On Coronavirus Battle With N350 Million
The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are set to donate the combined sum of N350 million to support Oyo State’s containment efforts against COVID-19. The State’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo and a member of the COVID-19 Task Force… Read full story
Forex Repatriation: Emefiele Assures Investors Of Investment Safety
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has assured investors of the security of their investments in the country despite dwindling revenue from the sale of crude oil globally. Speaking at the weekend in Abuja, Mr Emefiele said investors interested in repatriating their funds from the country… Read full story
Coronavirus Or Not, African Migrants Desperately Push On In The Desert Towards Europe
Many Africans are managing to evade coronavirus lockdown barriers in Niger, the Sahel’s migrant crossroads, as they press on with their perilous desert trek to the Mediterranean Sea and ultimately Europe. The migrant flow has slowed down but not dried up despite tight checks in the capital Niamey, and an increase of desert… Read full story
COVID-19: Bauchi Locks Down Three LGAs To Check Community Transmission
Bauchi State Government has declared a total lockdown of three LGAs of Giade, Katagum and Zaki as a measure to curtail community transmission of COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The total lockdown which takes effect from Tuesday, May 12, 2020 is for an initial 10 days to monitor how the situation will be controlled… Read full story
Woman, Three Men Arrested For Allegedly Torturing Her 16-Year-Old Housemaid To Death Over Theft Of N2,000
A woman and three men were on Sunday arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command following the torture to death of the woman’s housemaid over allegation of theft of the woman’s N2,000. According to reports from the state police command, the woman, Shade Moke, brought in three men to torture her housemaid… Read full story
Oyo Speaker In The Eye Of The Storm
IN recent weeks, the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin, has been in the eye of the storm. Just as the nation began battling COVID-19, so did some caucuses in the Assembly began to scheme against the leadership of the state legislative for alleged lack of transparency in running affairs… Read full story
Leaders And Limits Of Sentiments
Leaders sometimes run into troubled waters as a consequence of their failure to see issues as they really are. When leaders have a wrong perception of an issue, the issue will be wrongly diagnosed, wrong solutions will be prescribed and wrong results will be achieved. Leaders who fail to see issues as they are actually see… Read full story
Managing The Economy After The Pandemic
Last week, a Citizen Dialogue event was hosted by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Budget to examine the fallouts from Covid-19 and the implications for the budget and management of the economy. The outcomes from that exercise seem to have passed largely unnoticed by the informed public. I have always taken the… Read full story
Leadership: Lessons I Learnt Along The Way
A very dear friend who has followed my work for a while asked me recently at what point in my life I decided to focus on leadership development and practice. I found it a little difficult to answer at first because even though there were certain landmark experiences that reinforced and helped to properly crystallize what I had… Read full story