Gambari: Ilorin Prince, experienced and studious diplomat takes over as Buhari's chief of staff

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By Adedayo Akinwale

Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, the new chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, is entering the Buhari presidency with a rich profile from the academy and the international diplomatic circle. He also has a pedigree rooted in royalty. Gambari was born on November 24, 1944, in Ilorin, Kwara State, Prince Ilorin of the Alimi dynasty of the Ayelabowo Governing House.

He attended King & # 39; s College, Lagos and went to the London School of Economics, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in 1968, with a specialization in International Relations.

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He obtained his master's degree in 1970, and later obtained his doctorate in Political Science / International Relations in 1974 from Columbia University, New York, USA.

The new chief of staff began his teaching career in 1969 at the City University of New York before working at the University of Albany. He later taught at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He was a visiting professor at three universities in Washington, DC; John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Georgetown University and Howard University between 1986 and 1989.

Gambari was also a researcher at the Brookings Institution, also in Washington DC and a resident scholar at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, the center run by the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy.

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He also received, honoris causa, the title of Doctor of Human Letters from the University of Bridgeport.

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Gambari, who is also a member of the Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins University, was awarded the title of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) by the federal government.

His diplomatic career began in 1984, when he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by the then Chief of Military Major-General Muhammadu Buhari. Later, he served as Nigeria's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Gambari was appointed by the then United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and by the President of the African Union Commission as the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur from 1 January 2010.

He also served as a special advisor on the International Covenant with Iraq and other issues for the United Nations Secretary-General. On June 10, 2005, he was appointed United Nations undersecretary general (USG) for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

In March 2013, the then governor of Kwara State, AbdulFatah Ahmed, appointed Gambari as pioneering chancellor at Kwara State University.

His appointment as Chief of Staff to President Buhari was first reported by THISDAY on Tuesday. He took office on Wednesday, attending a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council, during which the Federation Government Secretary, Mr. Mustapha, officially announced his appointment.

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