TOP
Monday,September 21,2020 15:36 PM
  • Home
  • World
  • Nigeria's Buhari appoints new chief of staff

Nigeria's Buhari appoints new chief of staff

By AFP

Added 13th May 2020 05:57 PM

Gambari served as Buhari's foreign minister when he was Nigeria's military ruler in the 1980s and later went on to become a UN under-secretary-general for Africa during Kofi Annan's tenure.

Nigeria's Buhari appoints new chief of staff

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Photo/AFP

Gambari served as Buhari's foreign minister when he was Nigeria's military ruler in the 1980s and later went on to become a UN under-secretary-general for Africa during Kofi Annan's tenure.

COVID-19 | LEADERSHIP
 
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday named a former top UN diplomat as his new chief of staff, replacing powerful aide Abba Kyari after he died last month of COVID-19. 
 
The presidency announced the appointment of Ibrahim Gambari, 75, on Twitter. 
 
Gambari served as Buhari's foreign minister when he was Nigeria's military ruler in the 1980s and later went on to become a UN under-secretary-general for Africa during Kofi Annan's tenure.
 
Kyari's death on April 17 has rocked Nigerian politics. 
 
A loyal lieutenant and long-time confidant of the president, Kyari was often viewed as the second most powerful person in the country.
 
He played a vital role as gatekeeper to Buhari and had been accused of using his influence to control the president's decision-making.   
 
Political analyst Dapo Thomas said the new chief of staff was seen as an "apolitical" veteran who would not "be swayed by partisan politics, ethnic and religious considerations".
 
"Gambari is a seasoned and respected diplomat who has played significant roles in the international arena," Thomas, an academic at the University of Lagos, told AFP. 
 
"He has very intimidating credentials. His coming to the government will give more credibility, recognition, and respect to the president."
 
Benjamin Auge, an associate research fellow at the French Institute of International Relations shares a similar view of Gambari.
 
"He'll play a more traditional role as chief of staff to a president -- compared to Kyari -- with the added bonus of international relations expertise thanks to his experience and extensive networks abroad," he told AFP.
 
He said, unlike his predecessor Gambari "has never been a businessman, having spent his entire career as a professor as well as a diplomat for his country and international organisations like the UN." 
 
Auge said this quality "should probably allow President Buhari, who usually has very little focus on international issues, to develop a more effective foreign policy."
 
He said Gambari should be ready to face "strong pressure from the various usual lobbies in Nigeria".
 
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is facing major economic and social challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
The continent's biggest oil producer has seen its revenues collapse with the drop in crude prices. 
 
Nigeria has so far officially recorded 4,787 infections and 158 deaths from the virus, but testing has been limited. 

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author