By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja led cabinet members in wishing his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari a happy 77th birthday celebration.
Shortly before the meeting of the Federal Executive Council began, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced to the cabinet that today (Wednesday) is Gambari’s birthday.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s media aide in a statement quoted President Buhari as congratulating Gambari on the attainment of age 77, and jocularly injected that “you are still going strong, congratulations!”
The ministers present chorused with laughter and birthday good wishes.
Gambari joined the government as Chief of Staff following the demise of the former holder of the office, Abba Kyari.
Before this time, Gambari had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Military Government led by the then Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the 1980s and went on to serve as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
He thereafter joined the United Nations, rising to the position of Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser on Africa, serving as the joint African Union and UN Special Representative in some of the world’s troubled countries including Angola, Darfur, Iraq and Myanmar.
Described as an accomplished academic, Gambari has taught at the City University of New York, the State University of New York at Albany and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, as well as served as a Visiting Professor at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Baltimore, Maryland.
He is widely published in Nigerian and international scholarly journals and has written several books on Nigerian foreign policy.
Gambari is the founder of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental “think-tank” established in Abuja. (NAN)