By Ismaila Chafe
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday formally presented former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as the new Chief of Staff to the President.
He presented Gambari to members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appointment was unofficially announced by some traditional and social media outfits on Tuesday, some quoting the Emir of Ilorin as their source.
However, the SGF shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the FEC, confirmed that Buhari approved the appointment of Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to President.
Gambari, who was Buhari’s Foreign Minister and confidant as military Head of State in the 1980’s, replaced Malam Abba Kyari, who died last month of COVID-19.
NAN reports that the new Chief of Staff has since resumed work where he is currently participating in the maiden virtual meeting of the FEC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
NAN reports that a minute silence was observed in honour of three former ministers, namely; Richard Akinjide from Oyo State, Halilu Alhassan (Sokoto) and Paul Wanpana (Adamawa) as well as Kyari, who died recently.
Gambari, an Ilorin prince, served as minister of External Affairs between1984 and 1985.
He was appointed by former United Nations Secretary, Ban Ki-moon and the chairperson of the African Union Commission as Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur in 2010.
He also served as Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the UN Secretary General.
Gambari has also served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nation for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
NAN reports that Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and about seven ministers were physically present at the Council Chamber for the maiden virtual meeting of the Council.
The Ministers in attendance include that of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono. Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Others at the Council Chamber are the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamma; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo as well as the National Security Adviser to the President, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Mungonu.
Other members of the FEC participated in the meeting directly from their respective offices.