PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has just appointed Nigeria’s former foreign minister and ex-permanent representatives to the United Nations (UN) Professor Ibrahim Gambari as his new chief of staff to replace Mallam Abba Kyari who recently died after contracting coronavirus.
Professor Gambari, 76, is a veteran diplomat who among other things has served as the UN under-secretary-general for the department of political affairs. When President Buhari became military head of state in 1984, he appointed Professor Gambari as his foreign minister.
Born on November 24, 1944, in Ilorin, Professor Gambari was appointed by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the chairperson of the African Union Commission as joint African Union-United Nations special representative for Darfur effective from 1 January 2010. He was also the special adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
On March 4, 2013, Professor Gambari was named by Kwara State’s Governor AbdulFatah Ahmad, as the pioneer chancellor of the Kwara State University. Professor Gambari attended King’s College, Lagos and subsequently attended the London School of Economics where he obtained his BSc Economics in 1968 with specialisation in International Relations.
He later obtained his MA in 1970 and PhD in 1974 from Columbia University, New York, USA in Political Science /International Relations. Professor Gambari began his teaching career in 1969 at City University of New York before working at University of Albany and later, he taught at the Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria from 1986 to 1989.
Professor Gambari is a member of the Johns Hopkins University’s Society of Scholars. He was decorated with the title of Commander of the Federal Republic by the federal government of Nigeria.
Mallam Abba Kyari became Nigeria’s most high profile casualty of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe after he succumbed to it on April 16 and passed away. Regarded as the most powerful man in government, Mallam Kyari controlled all access to President Buhari.