Before the formal commencement of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), led cabinet members in wishing his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, a happy 77th birthday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘At 77, Prof Gambari gets special recognition’.
Shortly before the meeting began, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, announced Gambari’s birthday to cabinet members.
The President congratulated the CoS on the attainment of the age of 77 and jocularly injected, “You are still going strong, congratulations!”
He enjoined the ministers present to chorus his best wishes.
Gambari joined the government as the President’s chief of staff 20 months ago following the demise of his predecessor, Abba Kyari.
Before this time, he had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Buhari military junta in the 1980s and went on to serve as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
He thereafter joined the United Nations system, rising to the position of Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser on Africa, serving as the joint African Union and UN Special Representative to some of the world’s troubled countries, including Angola, Darfur, Iraq and Myanmar.
Similarly, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, congratulated Gambari on his birthday.
Tinubu extolled Gambari’s leadership qualities and thanked him for his selfless contributions to Nigeria, the international community and humanity.
In a congratulatory statement by his Media Office, Tinubu said, “An accomplished academic, seasoned diplomat, statesman and administrator, Prof Ibrahim Gambari has contributed immensely to Nigeria and the international community.
“Through his excellent services in the various capacities he has held in the past and at present, Prof Gambari has advanced the pursuit of democracy, peace and development in Nigeria and around the world.
“I congratulate him as he turns 77 on Wednesday, November 24.
“While thanking him for his wise counsel and diligent assistance to President Buhari in the difficult task of governance, I also commend him for bringing his humility, integrity, substantive knowledge, and renowned acumen to bear on the processes of national governance.”