Tag Archives: Chief of staff

Update: Why Buhari Appoints Gambari As CoS. [Nigeria]

.. Tinubu Sanwo-Olu, others optimistic on governance
.. CUPP urges caution over appointment

The newly appointed Chief of Staff to the President (CoS), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, yesterday declared he was picked for the job because President Muhammadu Buhari needs his competence and loyalty to succeed.

Asked what Nigerians should expect from him as Chief of Staff, Gambari told reporters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja: “We have not started. I’ll have to find out. I don’t report directly to the nation, I report to the president.”

He said he would be offering his “loyalty, competence and support” to the president, adding that as the chief of staff, his guiding principle would be “to serve the president to the best of my ability.”

Buhari formerly announced Gambari as the chief of staff shortly before the commencement of the resumed Federal Executive Council (FEC). During the session, a moment of silence was observed in honour of some deceased members of FEC at various times including a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the late Chief Richard Akinjide and the late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.


Gambari, Nigeria’s former permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) arrived at the Villa at 10:40 a.m. and was received by senior presidency officials including the director of protocol, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmed and the permanent secretary, State House, Mallam Tijani Umar.

Also present were the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs (Office of the Vice President) Amb. Abdullahi Gwari and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Reactions, meanwhile, have been trailing the appointment of Gambari, with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu saying: “At this time when the entire world is combating the coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences thereof, Prof. Gambari’s expertise and international reputation will help Nigeria galvanise national, regional and international efforts and resources to contain this viral menace and advance Nigeria’s interests on other important matters.”


The All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement affirmed: “Indeed, Prof. Gambari ticks all the boxes as a round peg in a round hole. The APC is confident that Gambari, a prince of Ilorin Emirate, will bring to bear his scholarly intellect, international network, professional and administrative experience in ensuring the smooth running of the office of the president and support the government to provide good governance and successfully deliver the Next Level programmes for the benefit of Nigerians.”

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he had no doubt that the “appointment is a major win for the presidency and the nation as a whole, especially coming at a time when Nigeria is confronting a major challenge with global outlook.”

He added: “The choice of Prof. Gambari as successor to the late Mallam Abba Kyari is commendable. Gambari is not just an academic or a diplomat; he is a fine gentleman, a decent Nigerian who epitomises the Nigerian dream.”


On his part, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said: “The appointment is clearly fit for purpose and is deserving for our own Prof. Gambari whose record of service as a diplomat and global statesman is unblemished.”

AbdulRazaq, who is the governor of Gambari’s home state, prayed to God to protect the CoS on the “delicate national assignment.”

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello noted: “Just as the late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari played a prominent role in the success of the Buhari administration, your coming in to fill the vacuum will further add more colour to the administration’s achievements.”


Bello’s Yobe State counterpart, Mai Mala Buni said he was optimistic that Gambari would deploy his wealth of experience to bring good governance to bear on the Buhari administration.

According to a former national secretary of the Labour Party and constitutional lawyer, Dr Kayode Ajulo, “Prof. Gambari is a core technocrat with robust wealth of experience. We expect nothing else than those lofty ideas on good governance as being promoted by the UN and the Prof. Gambari-Albright Commission.” He further prayed that the “appointment comes with the much-needed additional expertise and sanity in the country’s seat of power.”

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) also praised the choice of the new CoS, saying: “YCE is convinced that the appointment of Prof. Gambari is indicative of President Buhari’s determination to run a people-centered progressive administration that will command the respect of the international community.”


The Joint Action Committee of Northern Youths Association (JACOM) noted: “We have no doubt in our minds that his huge experience as a seasoned diplomat, his wisdom and guidance, will help the administration strive to much greater heights in delivering the dividends of democracy to ordinary Nigerians, especially the teeming youth of this great country.”

But the opposition group, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), said it was welcoming the appointment with caution. “We shall watch him closely as he resumes duty at the Presidential Villa. We shall hold him responsible for all his actions and judge him by them,” the coalition said.

Explaining its cautious stance, CUPP said it “is not unaware of the fact that Prof. Gambari is a die-hard agent of the late military dictator, Sani Abacha, and did everything on earth to defend the numerous atrocities of the Abacha regime while serving as General Abacha’s UN representative, including supporting the evil execution of the late activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, and the annulment of June 12 election.”


It added: “In the meantime, the CUPP is calling on Prof. Gambari to use the experience he has garnered on the global stage for years to assist the country and to pull out his boss, the president, from the deep pit of incompetence where he has sunk.

“We remind him that with his new appointment, he has been placed in a strategic position to help re-direct the nation from the path of destruction which his boss has been moving it to.”

Also, a former deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Timi Frank, urged Gambari not to toe what he termed “the usual path of Villa cabal.”


“I urge you on behalf of Nigerians to bring your wealth of experience and fatherly disposition to unite the country as you carry on your duties as the chief of staff to the president.

“It is a fact that you are not the president but I believe you can influence people-oriented policies in order to ameliorate the hardship in the country. Be the people’s chief of staff.”



Update: Ibrahim Gambari breaks silent on CoS Appointment. [Nigeria]


The new Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has made it clear his primary allegiance would be to President Muhammadu Buhari and not the public.

Gambari stated this while speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, shortly after his appointment was made official.


He thanked Buhari for deeming him worthy to serve in the new capacity and promised to serve to the best of his ability.

“I thank the President of the Federal Republic for giving me the opportunity to serve him and of course, the country,” he said.

Asked what Nigerians should expect from him as Chief of Staff, he said “we have not started, I’ll have to find out. I don’t report directly to the nation, I report to the President.”


Gambari also assured Buhari of his loyalty, competence and support”.

He added that his guiding principle would be “to serve the President to the best of his ability”.



[Nigeria] DSS denies invading house of Former Edo ‘Chief of Staff’


The Directorate of State Service (DSS) in Edo has denies invading the residence or arresting anyone associated with Chief Taiwo Akerele, former Chief of Staff (CoS) to Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo.


Mr Sheikh Waziri, DSS Director in Edo, said in Benin on Monday, that no operative of the service invaded the residence of Akerele on Sunday.

There were reports in Benin that the operatives had arrested one Jaspa Olowojoba, Personal Assistant to Akerele, when the operative could not find him.


“I have verified and confirmed that the DSS Edo has not invaded the residence nor arrested anyone associated with the former CoS,” Waziri said.

The former CoS on Saturday resigned his appointment, while Obaseki had replaced him with Mr Osaze Ozamure.


Photo: Who do you feel will success Abba Kyari as Chief of staff. [Nigeria]

Tobi Aworinde

The death of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), weeks after the senior presidential aide’s infection with coronavirus, has undoubtedly created a void in the upper echelons of the current regime.
Based on their antecedents as some of Buhari’s closest associates, the following are the probable candidates for Kyari’s replacement. According to government officials, any of these associates could land the top job.he death of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), weeks after the senior presidential aide’s infection with coronavirus, has undoubtedly created a void in the upper echelons of the current regime.

Muhammad Bello

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, who hails from Adamawa State, was born on January 8, 1959.

An alumnus of the prestigious Barewa College, Zaria, the minister is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained a BSc. in Management with bias for Banking and Finance in 1980, as well as MBA in the same field.

Bello was in charge of credit and marketing at the ICON Merchant Bank Plc and later a director at Habib Bank Plc and several other firms.

Adamu Adamu

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu is an accountant, writer, former journalist and public analyst.

Adamu Adamu was appointed as Minister of Education by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. He studied Accountancy at the Ahmadu Bello University.

Upon receiving his university degree, Adamu was hired as an accountant at CCP, and then continued to work at the CNL in Bauchi State, before joining the local government in the same position.

Adamu began a career as a writer and a public analyst, later emerging a newspaper editor in 1984 and becoming a columnist for Daily Trust. His articles were also syndicated in several news outlets, including the London-based Crescent International.

Isa Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, hails from Pantami District of Gombe State. Pantami lectured at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Information Technology before joining the Islamic University of Madinah as Head of Technical Writing in 2014.

In 2016, he was appointed as the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency.

He attended Federal University of Technology, Bauchi (popularly known as Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University) where he obtained a BTech in Computer Science in 2003. He also obtained an MSc in Computer Science in 2009 and an MBA in Technology Management 2011 session from the same University.

Pantami also holds a PhD in Computer Information Systems and Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Hameed Ali

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, was born in Dass, Bauchi State on January 15, 1955.

Ali was commissioned in 1977 after he received his training at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna. He attended Sam Houston State University, Texas from 1984 to 1988 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminology, and an educational certificate from the Nigeria Defence Academy.

After retirement, he became secretary of the apex northern sociopolitical group, Arewa Consultative Forum.

Ali is an All Progressives Congress member. He supported Buhari’s presidential bids from 2003 to 2019. On 27 August, 2015, Buhari appointed him the CG of Customs.

Kashim Shetimma

Kashim Shettima was born in Maiduguri, Borno State. He earned a BSc in Agricultural Economics from University of Maiduguri in 1989 and an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan in 1991. Shettima joined the University of Maiduguri as a lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics and was in the academia from 1991 to 1993.

In 2011, he was elected governor of Borno State on the platform of the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party. In February 2019, he was elected the senator for Borno Central.

Babagana Kingibe

Ambassador Babagana Kingibe was born on June 25, 1945 in Borno. In 1960, he got a government scholarship to complete his Ordinary Levels and Advanced Levels at Bishop’s Stortford College, United Kingdom. In 1965, he received his bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Sussex.

In 1965, he returned to Nigeria and was employed as a researcher at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

He was appointed the Ambassador to Greece, Cyprus and later Pakistan between 1981 and 1985. In 1986, Kingibe became a permanent secretary in the presidency of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Kingibe also served from October 2002 to September 2006 as the Special Envoy of the African Union to Sudan and subsequently Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and head of the African Union Mission in Sudan.

In June 2007, he was appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation


Useni – It’s strange to hear PMB’s chief of staff summon service chiefs.

Senator Jeremiah Useni, a retired Lieutenant General, was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja during the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha-led military junta. The 77-year-old politician who contested the 2019 governorship election in Plateau State speaks on a number of issues

You contested the 2019 governorship poll in Plateau State and pursued your case from tribunal to the Supreme Court, but lost. What is the next step now?

There is nowhere to go again. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the land. So, what do you mean by what next again?

We have heard some people going back to the Supreme Court asking for the review of their cases. Are you also considering that line of action?

That thought never crossed my mind. But you are aware that those who went back never succeeded in getting what they were asking to encourage others to do the same.

The Supreme Court threw away that of Bayelsa State review request by the All Progressives Congress and that of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State by maintaining its earlier judgements.

So, I can’t just join the band wagon because people are going there. What I believe is that only God knows if the judgement of the Supreme Court in my governorship petition is right or not. But the fact remains that it is the highest court of the land.

Have you given up on your governorship ambition or do you still want to govern the state?

It takes four years before another election. So, I’m still looking at the situation whether there were mistakes on my part, on the part of my party, individuals or the judiciary and ensure that one can guide against it. So, my priority is not that I must be governor.

You have been minister and a senator after a successful career in the military, yet you want to be a governor. People are wondering what you really left undone in your previous positions.

In the military, you have restrictions. No matter the good intentions you might have, you have to be very careful as a military man. You can’t even make a political statement. You cannot climb the podium and address the people. But as a politician, the door is open. As long as the statement is not against the government or such that it will be taken as a security threat. And of course, as a politician, you move freely with the people and sympathise with them when necessary and be able to explain to the people why certain things happen or why certain things cannot be done.

I was close to the late (Gen Sani) Abacha and people thought I would be implicated one way or the other and jailed but they never knew that my friendship with the former Head of State had nothing to do with corrupt enrichment of self because I did not care about what he did. I was only doing my job. When I was military Governor of Benue State, I would stop people sweeping my office by 7:00 am. I told them to come by 6am if they actually wanted to sweep my office because I had no time for such dereliction of duty.

As a former military officer, are you not worried about the security situation in the country?

Of course, I am concerned. Some people have told me that they heard that I am close to Mr President, Major General Muhamadu Buhari(retd.) and I said yes. They now wondered why insecurity has continued to plague the country. And I said should my friendship with the President stop insecurity? Am I in the same party with him? My friendship with him has nothing to do with security. He is a different person just as I am. But I won’t go on air and tell people to stop accusing him of not doing enough to address the problem of insecurity. If he does something wrong, you are free to accuse him. My friendship with Mr President also has nothing to do with politics. Some people will come and say, “he is your friend. Why not let him speak to those (judges) people to make you governor”. And I said, we are not running a military government where the Head of State picks and appoints people as governors. Those who will occupy those positions are determined by politics and if the judiciary is to do its job or anybody to convince them to do otherwise, definitely, it is not Mr President.

A lot of people including members of the National Assembly have called for the removal of the service chiefs. Do you consider this as a solution to the problem?

In the military, there is a period you are to serve as a service chief and then, you will be asked to go, whether there is insecurity or not. To me, that is what people should look at. Some people are talking as if there is no insecurity in the country, they will remain there for life. No. You cannot have a service chief staying for four or five years. If you are complaining of that, I can understand that. But Mr President has a reason for doing so because their appointment is at the discretion of Mr President. He can appoint them today and even sack them within one week as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

What is the way forward in addressing Nigeria’s security challenge?

I am not saying that sacking them is not the solution. The point I am making is that, what is the guarantee that the ones you are bringing on board will be better than the ones you are sacking? What I am saying is that, what people are complaining about should be whether the service chiefs should be in office either for three or four years, but they have spent more than that. And that they are not happy about their continued stay in office. You can talk about it from the laws and asked why they are still being kept in office against the laws of the land.

I have discussed with friends what can be done to address the security challenges facing the country. The truth is that the challenge is diverse. First, what are we doing as Nigerians? We see a situation where brothers kill themselves and husbands or wives kill their partners and yet, they are supposed to be in love. Why the fight? When I went round, the teachers’ union told me they had about 2,000 qualified teachers who were jobless because the state government refused to employ them. They also told me that the state had over 2,000 unqualified teachers in the system. When I heard the information, I considered it abnormal and I quickly summoned the relevant persons in the ministry to find out if it was true. And when they confirmed it, I told them to get those unqualified teachers out of the system the next day and replace them with the qualified ones. The instruction was carried out without delay and the next day, the same teachers association came out to demonstrate that I sacked people from work. I was surprised because they were the same people who wrote petitions demanding that I do something about the abnormally which I did. So, what I did was to join them in the protests and they started laughing and went away quietly. But that is how we ended up doing the right thing and ensured that only qualified teachers were allowed in the system.

What do you think Mr President can do to make the fight against corruption more effective?

I am not Mr President and I can’t say I know the problem he is facing, but all I know is that to get to the old wood, you have to first remove the new ones on top of it. What I mean is that so many new corrupt people are committing so many offences and the old ones they took over from are still there.

So, how do you get rid of the old ones without getting rid of the new ones first?

So, you can’t get the old wood when the new ones are on top, except you are in a position to clear them at the same time otherwise you must have to remove the new ones first. But what we find in the fight against corruption is a situation where, in trying to get the old ones, the new corrupt people are building up. That is the problem. But as a person, I think Mr President is doing his best but he is not working alone. He has somebody who will do the work and then you refuse people advising you and work with bad advisers. So, you take the blame yourself. And if you have people who swore to do the proper thing and they turn round to be giving you wrong information, then what do you do? Even within the Presidency, look at the ongoing fight between the Chief of Staff to the President and the National Security Adviser? I wouldn’t believe that it is Mr President who gave the instruction that his Chief of Staff should be giving instructions to the National Security Adviser. But the National Security Adviser is complaining that the man is trying to give him instructions. I think there is a modicum of insecurity in what is happening there. So, it is left for the President to determine whether what he is saying is correct or not. If he was told to reduce work for Mr President or Mr President said If you want to see me, see so, so, person. It is left for the people to complain if they have any issue with him but for the Chief of Staff to the President to just summon service chiefs, I never heard of it before.

The infighting between the Chief of Staff and the National Security Adviser, among other happenings in the country and the seeming helplessness of Mr President suggest that Buhari is not in charge of the country’s affairs. Do you agree that this is true?

People can interpret this thing anyhow. I think somebody is just taking advantage of his closeness to the President to do certain things that are not right and I give you an example. Someone came here and told me he was told not to come in and see me. When I asked him the reason, he said they said it was an instruction from my son. When my son came, I asked him why he is stopping people from seeing me. I told him and the other children that If you think that this person I am seeing is not good, then you should tell me and it is left for me to take a decision on that but you don’t stop people from seeing me. But if such information doesn’t come to me and they went about telling people, they will think I was the one who actually gave the instruction.

Which section of the country would you like to produce the President in 2023?

The direction of politics is unpredictable sometimes. People will tell you that there is permanent interest in politics, but for some years, Nigerian presidency has been swinging between the North and South. But as time went by, people were not talking about these two political divisions again. Instead, they started talking about allowing each of the six geopolitical zones to be given a slot for the presidency. And the separate agitations by each of them comprising the South-East, South-South and South-West on one hand and North-East, North -West and North-Central, on the other hand, is causing confusion in the polity. Now if they say South-West, some people will say it has had its own turn at the presidency. If they say South-South, some would ask whether former president Goodluck Jonathan is not from that region. Now, if you say South-East, the name of Nnamdi Azikiwe will come up. So, we have to agree on the method or we go by tribe as the case may be. But people will always say what suit them. But left for me, the presidency should be rotated between the North and the South. And if the President is a Muslim, the Vice President should be a Christian and if the President is a Christian, the Vice President should be a Muslim. That is what I believe will help the country and its people.