-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:
That Prof Ibrahim Agboola Gambari is quintessentially a round peg in diplomatic round holes is not in doubt. He has served in enviable diplomatic positions at the UN and also had a stint locally as Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister.
A former scholar at the Ahmadu Bello University (where yours sincerely also cut his academic teeth), his riveting speechifying and grandiose was among the things that could be remembered about him at the international level. He has contributed scholarly, to the growth and study of Nigeria government and Politics especially as it relates to foreign policy.
It is against this backdrop of an enviable diplomatic and scholastic disposition, that one wonders why he should take a gamble at public service again at his twilight age, for a much lowly position as the Chief of Staff to a President he once served in his prime.
This brings to question the cyclical nature of the Nigerian elites and their painful knack to undermine and relegate the teeming youthful populace in the important scheme of things especially as it relates to serving the motherland.
The Nigerian elites has the uncanny ability to recycle themselves with impunity such that the promise they gave to us as leaders of tomorrow remains a mere painful mantra to calm our nerves only to lure us back to their unending ambitions.
Buhari’s unenviable love for ultra conservative gerontocrats and age-group governance will never allow him to look the way of the youth even in an energy demanding job of the Chief of Staff to a Nigerian President with all the attendant intrigues and tendencies.
One wonder how the erudite Professor will cope with the trivial politics, domestic power play and the often intriguing drama that is associated with the office in recent past. Will he be as tough, stern, proactively and protectively courageous (as the erstwhile Chief of Staff was to the President) whose latchet of his shoes he may not be able to untie?
The way we have elevated the office of the Chief of Staff to the President to that of a defacto or Pseudo Presidency will put too much pressure on the personality of a gentleman administrator that Gambari truly is. The very reason why I thought he took a hard gamble at accepting a job that could ordinarily have been given to his son or crony. But this is Nigeria for you; where the elders will prefer to go to the farms while leaving the vibrant youths at home to take care of the pets. It’s a pity!
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online