By MIKAIL MUMUNI
The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) has said past events are now being lifted out of context, to vilify Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, the newly appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, and impugn his character.
The centre stated this in a statement issued on Wednesday, May 20, by its Executive Director, Ambassador Abdullahi A. Omaki, and made available to The State Online.
Omaki said “The attention of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) has been drawn to the various articles currently trending in the media concerning the newly appointed Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari.
“While some of the articles have been positive, others have portrayed Prof. Gambari inaccurately and with prejudice. Although the SCDDD recognises the right of people to express their opinions, it is however, of the view that this right should be exercised with due consideration for the truth. SCDDD deems it unfortunate that past events are now being lifted out of context, to vilify Prof. Gambari and impugn his character.”
He added that “SCDDD would like to note that whatever action Prof. Gambari took in any official capacity he occupied in the past, was in line with the position of the government of the day and not on the basis of ethnic or religious considerations.
“Prof. Gambari’s friends and associates come from across the length and breadth of Nigeria and beyond. This underscores the fact that he does not have any biases against any section of the country, neither on the basis of religion, ethnicity or any other considerations. Prof. Gambari is a man of integrity who has served the country and the international community meritoriously, in different capacities over several decades. That, in part, would explain why Mr. President considered him fit to serve as his Chief of Staff.”
Ambassador Omaki said “The Savannah Centre strongly believes that at this point in time, the place of Prof. Gambari as Chief of Staff to the President, is to worry about the deficits in governance, which have thrown up critical broad challenges to the nation and its people, neighbouring countries, West Africa and Africa at large, hence the necessity to now work more concertedly together, as a people, to address the catastrophic gaps inherent in our governance, through creativity and innovative methods that can provide worthy pathways for Nigeria’s unity, sustainable development and growth. These are undoubtedly serious issues that call for nation-wide efforts to evolve common grounds of understanding amongst the Nigerian people to facilitate addressing the Nigerian project. Furthermore, for Nigeria and Africa to be relevant in any conversations for a new global order, especially, post Covid-19, these concerns need to be addressed, and the ongoing demonisations will not be the answer.”
He stressed that “Based on the foregoing, therefore, Savannah Centre is convinced that the focus of Prof. Gambari should now be on accomplishing the important task that Mr. President has given him and he will not therefore, be distracted by unsubstantiated insinuations in the media.”
Gambari is the founder of SCDDD, a non profit organisation promoting global peace & development through policy analysis, advocacy and strategic partnerships.
It’s Board Members are Malam Abidu Yazid (Chairman), Amb. Brownson Dede, Dr. Fatimah Gambari, Prof. Bayo Olukoshi, Dr. Wale Adeeyo, Engr. Lanre Sagaya, Prof. George Obiozor, Mr. Tunji Lardner, Dr. Richard Berman, Ms. Joke Silva, Mrs Eugenia Abu, Mr. Aliyu Gebi, Amb. Abdullahi .A. Omaki (Secretary).