With the appointment of Ibrahim Gambari as General Buhari’s new Chief of Staff, sycophants have gone into overdrive. They are falling over themselves to praise him in terms so annoyingly untrue and underserving.
I am not surprised. It is after all the Nigerian way. Our peculiar brand of politics is powered by stomach infrastructure.
However, I will not sit and watch these desperate carpetbaggers pass off Mr. Gambari as some wunderkind. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mr. Gambari is anything but competent. Yes, due to his ethnicity (Fulani) and his family name (he comes from the Gambari ruling Fulani house of Ilorin), Ibrahim Gambari enjoyed a rapid rise through Nigeria’s civil service.
The truth, however, is that, like his kinsman, Buhari, he owes his rise not to merit, but to the nepotism and the favouritism that has given priority access to people of his pedigree, above and beyond other Nigerians of equal or much better qualifications.
Mr. Gambari’s clay feet was exposed by no less a personality than the erudite and cerebral Ms. Condoleeza Rice, who was then the US Secretary of State under President George W Bush.
The then United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, had sent Mr. Gambari, who had filled Nigeria’s quota as Undersecretary of the United Nations (for Political Affairs) to Burma (now known as Myanmar) as a special envoy.
Mr. Gambari so screwed up that mission that the US demanded his “dismissal” for his ‘embarrassing’ and ineffective handling of the job. This is contained in a leaked WikiLeaks cable.
Quoting the Guardian of UK, “The US was also disappointed with the UN special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari and the cables reveal how the then US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, ordered the US mission at the UN to work for his removal”.
The US was so concerned about Mr. Ibrahim Gambari’s inappropriate claims that they stopped just short of calling him a liar.
Miss Rice, in the cable, called on Mr. Ban Ki Moon to “dismiss” Mr. Gambari, while saying that this “should occur as soon as practical.”
“We have no wish to embarrass Mr Gambari and have no intent to link any removal with a lack of progress in Burma, but we would ask that you find a way to terminate gracefully his participation in this particular mission,” Rice wrote.
Shortly after Ms Rice’s cable, Mr. Gambari was removed and after that sidelined at the United Nations. And this is the man that they are dusting up and selling as the next best thing after sliced bread?
To show you how naive and narcissistic Mr. Gambari is, he later gave an interview and claimed that the US ‘plot’ to remove him failed, because he was given a bigger office.
His exact words were “’I was simply re-assigned to a bigger and more sensitive post where I currently serve.”
That someone could be so gullible and naive is not the point. The issue is that despite his hubris, this fellow has been elevated to perhaps the most important office in Nigeria, other than the office of the President.
If you read the WikiLeaks cable, and I encourage you to read it, you will see that Ms. Rice suggested for Mr. Ban Ki Moon that rather than embarrass Mr. Gambari, he should simply be reassigned to another less sensitive office. In other words, that he should be promoted into obscurity, where he would no longer be able to embarrass either himself or the United Nations.
I sincerely urge my readers to research these issues I have raised (they are in the public domain). Do not take my words for it.
However; this is only just one side of the Gambari saga. The other is that his appointment further betrays General Buhari’s nepotistic tendencies. I love Fulanis, and as a bachelor, I dated Fulanis, I almost married one. My wife could be mistaken for a pure and thoroughbred Fulani because of her nationality. My only interest here is equity.
General Buhari appointed Ibrahim Gambari, a 75-year-old Northern Nigerian Muslim (a Fulani from Kwara. NOT Yoruba, as erroneously ascribed in the media by Buhari’s paid professional disinformers) as Chief of Staff.
Already, the heads of the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, Defence, Army, Police, NSA, DSS, NIA, DMI, DIA, NPS, NCS, NIS, and EFCC all Northern Muslim men. This is against the Federal Character Act.
The question I ask is this: Is Nigeria a Muslim Brotherhood?
Some may see the name, Agboola, and assume, incorrectly, that Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, is a Yoruba. Not so.
Ibrahim Agboola Gambari is Fulani. The Fulani of Ilorin have a long established tradition of bearing Yoruba names. However, that does not make them Yoruba. For example, Olusola Saraki was Fulani. Read his words below.
“My great-great grandfather originated from Mali and I am talking about some 150 to 200 years ago. And they are Fulani.”
As a matter of fact, Ibrahim Agboola Sulu-Gambari (the full name) is from the Sulu-Gambari Fulani lineage that traces its origin to Alimi, the Fulani scholar that overthrew Afonja and installed himself and his heirs as Emirs in Ilorin, a previously Yoruba town.
Even the current Fulani Emir of Ilorin has a Yoruba middle name. His full name is Alhaji Ibrahim KOLAPO Sulu Gambari. He is not Yoruba. He is Fulani, like Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, who is his uncle, (not his brother as some reported)
The Fulani practice of adopting local names and culture into theirs is a commendable policy that the Romans practised before them. After defeating the Greeks, the Romans adopted Greek names, gods, and practices. It will stun many people to note that some so called ‘Christian’ doctrines, practices and holidays are actually of Greek origin, and imposed on Christendom by the Roman Catholic Church. But that is a story for another day. Today, we focus on Gambari and Buhari.
* General Buhari is 77 (head of the executive)
* Justice Tanko is 66 (head of the judiciary)
* Ahmed Lawan is 61 (head of the legislature)
* The average age of Buhari’s ministers is 55
* The minister of youth is 54
Yet, Buhari appoints a 75-year-old his Chief of Staff. This is even as 60% of Nigeria’s population is below 30.
On a lighter note, I commend General Buhari for being a listening leader!
We complained of Abba Kyari’s age (67), and General Buhari heard us and improved on the age by appointing a 75-year-old to succeed a 67-year-old!
In Buhari’s Nigeria, the young die so that the old may live!
It is a case of the closer you are to the grave, the closer you are to power. Our youths now study history in our leaders, not in our schools! Nigeria is fragile because she is young, while her leadership is fragile because it is old!
Is it that General Buhari used the popular Ancient and Modern hymn book in school, but he only memorised the ancient part. That is why he keeps appointing ancient ancestors in a modern world to govern a nation with a youth bulge!
Even Buhari’s minister for youths, Sunday Dare, was born in 1966. He is 54 years old. That is what youth means to Buhari! Anyone below the age of 70 is a youth in General Buhari’s eyes. That is why he called Osinbajo ‘my son’!
Is Nigeria a gerontocracy (government by the aged)? Is Buhari addicted to only aged men like him? What is happening here? This appointment is wrong on every level!
Surely, Nigeria can have a more representative government than this. Thank God I am not Igbo, so when I talk about the marginalisation of the Igbos and other minorities, no one can point a ginger of self-interest at me.
Let me just cite an example of how this administration shows its brazen anti-Igbo agenda.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID19 released a statement stating that President Buhari personally ordered them to import the Madagascan homeopathic coronavirus cure for trials in Nigeria.
Well, that sounds tickety-boo on the surface. But I encourage my readers to delve beyond the surface.
Why would the regime of General Buhari import the herbal coronavirus alleged cure from Madagascar, without first trying out Professor Maurice Iwu’s cure? Doesn’t charity begin at home anymore? Or does charity only begin at home for the likes of Ibrahim Gambari and not for people with names like Maurice Iwu? Is it because Iwu is an Igbo 5 percenter? Is it a sin to be an Igbo man in General Buhari’s Nigeria?
The man, Iwu, has said that General Buhari’s government has not even shown an interest in his cure, talk less of contacting him. Yet, the Buhari government can fly 3,300 miles to Madagascar to import their herbs! I repeat, is it a sin to be Igbo in Nigeria?
If this is how we want to treat them, then perhaps, like Pharaoh, we should let them go. We cannot continue to make Nigeria inhospitable for them and make it inescapable to them at the same time. We must choose one. We either make Nigeria hospitals to Igbos, or we make Nigeria escapable for them.
Not a single Igbo in the leadership of the
* Civil service
And these are the institutions upon which nations are founded. Yet, bootlickers like Oby Ezekwesili and Rotimi Amaechi won’t ask their masters’ question. It takes a non-Igbo like me to ask of it is a crime to be Igbo in Nigeria?
Oh, by the way, here is what Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said about Ibrahim Gambari on July 12, 2008:
“When you are we on a slave’s errand, do it as a freeborn”, another Yoruba saying. Gambari enslaved himself to please his paymasters. Now, 13 years later, the shackles are still tied round his neck, threatening to asphyxiate him. Bootlicking grovellers fail to learn. Old sins have long shadows.”
Today, Femi is the one BOOTLICKING the Gambari he called a BOOTLICKER!
Sad! May I never be in a position where I have to lose my soul to gain the world, in Christ’s name!
I have been a presidential spokesperson. I have exchanged calls and texts with Presidents, Vice Presidents and other VIPs. Take it from me. No one is ever too busy to take your call or respond to your text. You are just not important enough to them. I can prove to you that that person who has not responded to your call or text is not too busy, and is only ignoring you because you are not a priority. Send them a text saying someone mistakenly credited you with $10,000 that was meant for them. They won’t text back. They will call you in 2 seconds!
First published in my column, #TheAlternative, in Sunday ThisDay of May 17, 2020.
Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.