The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Ibrahim Gambari as his new Chief of Staff.
Mr Ibrahim, a former minister of External Affairs between 1984 and 1985, replaces Abba Kyari who died of COVID-19 complications in April.
The retired diplomat hails from Ilorin, Kwara State. His appointment was officially announced by the Presidency on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
Mr Tinubu, in a statement on Wednesday, said Mr Gambari, a professor of political science, is a prudent choice at this crucial moment.
“The appointment of Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari is a laudable one. Prof. Gambari is a renowned diplomat, statesman and scholar who has served this nation in many important positions.
“His intellect, broad experience and skills in administration and diplomacy have adequately prepared and equipped him for the important job he now has. I congratulate Professor Gambari on his selection and commend President Buhari for making such a thoughtful and prudent choice at this crucial moment.”
Mr Tinubu said the new aide would help President Buhari advance his policy and governance priorities “just as he did in the past when he served as Minister of External Affairs in the 1980s.”
The former Lagos State governor said he had known Mr Gambari for a while and he is not a stranger to the ruling party.
“My personal knowledge of Chief of Staff Gambari is that he is an erudite man who knows and loves this country and who strongly believes in the Nigerian project and President Buhari’s change agenda. He is no stranger to our party, APC, and its progressive national vision.
“Over a long and illustrious career, Prof. Gambari has proved his mettle nationally and internationally. His resume takes a back seat to none. He distinguished himself as an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar and Special Representative in Angola.”
He however noted that the recent appointment is a tough assignment for Mr Gambari, perhaps the hardest he has had.
“But he is a special person with great attributes. He will meet the challenge by discharging his duties with excellence and high purpose,” Mr tinubu stated.
Many other prominent Nigerians have also reacted to the appointment of Mr Gambari.
Those who have congratulated the new aide include former Senate President Bukola Saraki and a former Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Mr Saraki said Mr Gambari is “a decent man, a cerebral academic, disciplined diplomat who 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 posted on Twitter.
Former governor, Mr Ahmed, applauded President Buhari for appointing Mr Gambari.
According to a statement he issued on Wednesday, Mr Ahmed believes that Mr Gambari’s exemplary stint as Minister for Foreign Affairs Affairs during President Buhari’s tenure as Head of State provided the President with a first-hand insight into Mr Gambari’s leadership qualities.
“Given these antecedents, I know that Prof Gambari will prove a stellar and loyal anchor for the President in this new assignment”.
Some state governors also expressed delight at the recent appointment.
Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong expressed confidence in Mr Gambari, saying, “I have no doubt that he will bring all this to bear in assisting the President to deliver his promises to Nigerians.”
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, also commended Mr Buhari for “his choice of such a consummate professional as his Chief of Staff.”