President Muhammadu Buhari has formally announced Professor Ibrahim Gambari as his new Chief of Staff, to succeed Abba Kyari who died from coronavirus complications a fortnight ago.
The President, who made the announcement before the commencement of the inaugural virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today, May 13, also ordered a minute silence in prayer for Abba Kyari and other prominent Nigerians, including former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, late Chief Richard Akinjide, late Halilu Alhassan, former minister of health, Paul Wampana and Minister of State for Public Health during the Second Republic.
Professor Gambari was presented to council by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
Prof Gambari, who was Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), had arrived at the Presidential villa at about 10:40am and was received by Senior Presidency officials, including the Director of Protocol, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmed and the Permanent Secretary State House, Mallam Tijani Umar.
Others include the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Office of the Vice President, Amb. Abdullahi Gwari as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu who all ushered him into the Aso Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Professor Gambari, who hails from Ilorin, Kwara state, was minister of external affairs under Buhari as a military head of state between 1983 and 1985.
He is currently the founder/chairman of Savannah Center External link in Abuja, 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.
UNAMID under Gambari was the world’s largest international peacekeeping mission.
Those at today’s FEC meeting are Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who offered the opening prayer, minister of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, ministers of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, information and culture, Lai Mohammed, power, Saleh Mamma, and commerce, Niyi Adebayo.
National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungonu was also present at the Council chambers. Other council members attended the meeting in the various offices.