…Charges him to revisit 2014 confab recommendations
By Dirisu Yakubu, Abuja
Reactions have continued to pour in on Wednesday appointment of Professor Ibrahim Gambari as the new Chief of Staff, CoS to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gambari’s appointment followed the demise of Mallam Abba Kyari who was the President’s Chief of Staff since 2015 until his death on April 17, 2020.
Reacting to the appointment yesterday, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar tasked the appointee to fall back on his huge experience and expertise to make the most of the job.
Atiku in a status update on his Facebook wall wrote, “Congratulations Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR on your appointment as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. 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.”
In his reaction, immediate past President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki urged Nigerians to lend their support to the former academic and diplomat in order for him to succeed.
“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,” he said.
On his part, rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, described Gambari as a “diplomatic Czar who will leave no stone unturned in bringing decency to the office. Recalling their time together at the 2014 national conference, the legal luminary urged Gambari to use his new position to press for the implementation of some of the recommendations of that confab.
“My reaction is that this is quite a good choice. I know Prof Gambari. We worked closely at the 2014 national conference. At that conference, we belonged to an elite Elders Committee that worked assiduously to harmonize irreconcilable differences between the many different tendencies at the Conference.
I found him very destabilized, diplomatic, warm, brilliant, accommodating and having a deep grasp and knowledge of the problems bedevilling Nigeria, including the national question. For me, this is an opportunity for the diplomatic Czar to push for the implementation of some of the more urgent recommendations out of the over 600 well thought out recommendations made at the conference.
He urged Gambari to immediately hit the ground running by bringing what he called a sense of direction to the President Buhari-led government.
He continued, “a quick piece of advice to Prof. Gambari: his appointment is viewed in many circles, notwithstanding his over 75 years ago, as a middle ground for some urgently needed direction and moderation in the poor governance style of this rather clueless government that has enthroned more hardship, poverty, insecurity, corruption, sectionalism, clannishness and nepotism more than any government in Nigeria since 1914.
“Focus on your job as the urbane, suave, humble, very well educated and well-travelled technocrat that you are known to be. Simply do your job with focus on posterity and future judgement by history. Look into the plight of beleaguered Nigerians that are in slavish doldrums and in a state of nadir and ground zero. Upgrade the office from its polluted and politicized
nature and remake it to a semblance of its counterpart in America wherefrom it was borrowed.”