SCDDD Hails Gambari’s Appointment as President’s Chief of Staff

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Abdullahi A. Omaki

The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) welcomes the news of the appointment of Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, Chairman and Founder of the Centre, as the new Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On behalf of its Board Members, the Management and all other staff of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), I express with great delight and profound respect to His Excellency Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, most sincere gratitude for this appointment.

The Centre, is exceedingly proud for the honour done to the person of Professor Gambari, his Centre, the people of his home-state, Kwara, and all other Nigerians at home and abroad.

By the estimation of Savannah Centre, this is a very well-deserved appointment, not because he is one of us, our Founder and mentor, but because he is an exceptional Nigerian, who has creditably distinguished himself in Nigeria, Africa, and the world through the United Nations where he served as Under-Secretary General of the world body for about 13 years.

As an appointment that clearly received wide support across the country, we are not unaware of the complex and difficult challenges that have continued to face our great nation, now comprehensively compounded by the socio-economic and health impacts of COVID-19.

Without doubts, time has come for Nigeria to take an extremely deep look at herself, in order to craft both creative and innovative pathways of moving the country, not only out of the challenges of the moment, but to grab the opportunities inherent in these challenges for a greatly improved future for Nigeria.

As an experienced public officer of Professor Gambari’s stature, both at home and abroad, and his vision for Nigeria and Africa, which inspired the establishment of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), we at the Centre feel that Nigeria is indeed in very good hands with him as the Chief of Staff.

The imperative for National Elites Consensus is now most urgent. Nigerians across the Federation and in the Diaspora, must work concertedly with one another, to promote common grounds, on which the survival of our great nation depends. The surest way of attaining this is through ensuring that Nigerians, especially her elites, commence talking WITH each other and not AT each other, with the hope of rapidly promoting National Unity.

This is most imperative, as this will provide the necessary platform for strengthening Nigeria’s cohesion for development and growth where fairness and justice, are pre-requisites. It is not impossible to achieve this tasks, complex as they certainly are.

The time ahead is so little and so much needs to be accomplished. And it is the expectation of Savannah Centre therefore, that with this appointment, President Buhari will be vastly assisted to make these landmark achievements during his tenure.

We wish to acknowledge with respect, the numerous messages from our compatriots across the country, and our international partners, who conveyed their felicitations to Professor Gambari on his appointment, through the Savannah Centre platform. Thanks to you all. The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development will inspite of the temporary “loss” of our Chairman and Founder for higher national duties, remain committed to playing creative and responsible roles in the strides for Nigeria’s Nation-building efforts.

We expect both innovative and creative governance approaches through an effective national podium for Nigeria to assert herself at home, for a robust role in Africa, as the world grapples with the imminent birth of a new world order, occasioned by Covid-19.

Finally, Savannah Centre offers once again, her sincere condolences to the President of Nigeria and the immediate family members of Mallam Abba Kyari, on his sad loss. We pray for Almighty Allah to grant him His magnificent paradise. And to our able Chair and Founder, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, we offer profound congratulations on his appointment and pray for his success in office.

We are certain that Professor Gambari, will neither disappoint President Buhari nor Nigeria at large. Rather, Savannah Centre expects him to be an effective gate-keeper in contributing to the success of President Muhamadu Buhari, in the realization of Mr. President’s cardinal promises to Nigerians.

…Omaki is the Executive Director, Savannah Centre.