By Charles Ike-Okoh
WED, MAY 13 2020-theG&BJournal- In the first few hours of news of his appointment as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof Ibrahim Agboola Gambari was declared a dead wood, old corrupt military apologist who has outlived his usefulness to humanity. He doesn’t stand a chance in the barrage of criticisms that awaits him in the future either-unless!.
His appointment was confirmed today by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and he replaces late Abba Kyari who was equally hopelessly maligned by critics. Gambari was former external affairs minister (1984-1985) under then Gen Muhammadu Buhari. He later served as special adviser to the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) on Africa and under secretary-general of the UN.
Gambari’s relation with the muckrakers is already rocky. Before the confirmation of appointment today they already let it be known that they have concluded he is not welcome, another de facto-president, who has come to exercise a great deal of power over the country and even the President’s household.
By ridiculing his pedigree, the muckrackers has signalled that he is another bad news. By saying he is a military apologist, they suggest his appointment is of little value to the nation. His credibility-already assumed tarnished- sets him against public opinion, until the end of the president’s tenure and his as Chief of Staff.
If he wants Nigerians to be on his side, Gambari must make amend. How he does that is up to him. His predecessor’s silence in the face of criticism spooked. In his entire time as Chief of Staff, late Abba Kyari never spoke nor defended himself on the barrage of criticisms.
Kyari’s criticism should be a lesson to Ibrahim Gambari on how to help run affairs at the Aso Rock. He should let the country know once he gets down to work what his roles are, and how they are different from that of the president.
How he interacts with the rest of the executive branch, the changes he brings with regards to policy making and how he organises the president’s interaction with the media and the citizens will be a test he has to pass.