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Buhari names Gambari new Chief of Staff

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… Former Nigerian envoy vows loyalty, service to President
… Gbajabiamila, govs, APC, others commend decision … CUPP, Fani-Kayode give knocks

FORMER Nigerian ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and scholar, Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, was yesterday named Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

  The new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Gambari, who replaces the late Abba Kyari, upon acceptance of the appointment vowed to serve the nation to the best of his ability.

  Gambari made the promise at a session with newsmen shortly after he assumed duties at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,yesterday.

  According to the former Nigeria’s Permanent Representative toUN, what Buhari needs most from him is his loyalty, competence, and support in the task of governance.

  “I want to thank the president of the federal republic for giving me this opportunity to serve him and of the country. I have not started, so I will find out and maybe… I don’t report directly to the nation, I report directly to the president.  I will serve the nation, Mr President. He needs my loyalty, competence, and support. I will serve to the best of my ability,” he said.

  Gambari assumed office after Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had announced his appointment shortly before the start of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council.

  He succeeded the late Abba Kyari, who died in April of COVID-19 complications.

  Meanwhile, Nigerians across the political divides have continued to react on Gambari’s appointment.

  According to Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Gambari’s appointment as Chief of Staff to President is a round peg in a round hole considering his experience over the years.

  In their own reaction, Northern governors under the aegis of Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) congratulated Gambari, describing him as an accomplished diplomat and administrator.

  Similarly, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lauded Gambari’s appointment saying it shows President Buhari’s commitment to taking Nigeria to the next level in development.

  A statement issued by National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu said the appointment of the new Chief of Staff was a demonstration if President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to bring competent Nigerians into the ship of nation building.

  “Without any iota of doubt, this appointment has once again, demonstrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed commitment to good governance by bringing on board competent Nigerians from all parts of the world to assist him in taking Nigeria to the Next Level. Gambari’s experience and suitability for the strategic office of Chief of Staff is not in doubt,” the statement reads in part.

But the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has expressed worry over Gambari’s appointment.

  According to CUPP spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, the body was aware that Gambari was a “die-hard agent of the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.” They spoke in similar vein with former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode who described the appointment of Gambari as “a continuation of Buhari’s islamisation of Nigeria agenda.”

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