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Governors, Tinubu and other stakeholders congratulate Gambari on his new appointment as COS

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President Buhari’s new Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, on Wednesday assumed office with a promise to serve to the best of his ability.

The 76-year-old former Minister of External Affairs was announced as the President’s CoS shortly before the start of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The confirmation came after nearly 24 hours of speculation as to whether he was indeed the new CoS, as the Presidency played a waiting game of silence that ended on Wednesday.

It was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on behalf of Buhari, who made the announcement at the meeting, which was also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Gambari later spoke at a brief interview after he assumed duties.

He said what Buhari needed most from him was his loyalty and competence.

The former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations promised to give his best.

As he walked out of the Council Chambers of the State House, the following interaction took place between him and the few media houses listed to cover the villa in the interim.

The new CoS, who hails from Ilorin, Kwara State, had arrived at the villa around 10.53am and was welcomed by the State House Chief of Protocol, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmed; the Permanent Secretary, Mr Tijani Umar,  and some senior directors in the Presidency.

Gambari was screened on arrival for COVID-19. He had his temperature checked by waiting medical personnel, who also gave him a hand sanitiser before he was ushered into the main building.

Wearing a sky blue babanriga and a native cap to match, he chatted heartily with the officials, as they led him to the council chambers.

Gambari would take full briefings from Buhari and use the next few days to peruse files, and “other official matters left on the desk by his predecessor.”

Gambari replaced the late Abba Kyari, who died on April 17 from COVID-19 complications.

Earlier, Buhari and the ministers had observed a minute’s silence in honour of Kyari. The same was observed for a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, late Chief Richard Akinjide; a former Minister of Health, late Halilu Alhassan, and the late Paul Wampana.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Power, Saleh Mamma; and Minister of Commerce, Niyi Adebayo were all physically present at the meeting.

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