Its Chairman, Mr Niyi Akinsiju, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the president deserved commendation for his choice of another man with a global reputation as his Chief of Staff.

“We acknowledge that the choice of the international diplomat and strategist to replace the late Malam Abba Kyari may have taken so many Nigerians by surprise.

“This is against the background of wide speculations since the death of the former Chief of Staff on the likely occupant of the seat.”

“But, the President has again proved that he is his own man with the choice of a largely apolitical personality with an international reputation as his key aide.”

“President Buhari has had a long-standing relationship with his new Chief of Staff who was also the Minister of External Affairs at the time the President was Military Head of State in 1983, so he has a good knowledge of Gambari’s pedigree.”

“We have no doubt that Prof. Gambari will bring a lot of administrative experience and acumen, not different from that of the late Malam Kyari, to bear on his new role,” he said.

The BMO chairman also highlighted the antecedents of the new Chief of Staff that make him suitable for the job.

He said: “Prof. Gambari is bringing to the job a wealth of experience stretching back to his days as a respected scholar, former Minister and an international diplomat of repute.

“We recall that he is also the go-to man at the international stage over conflict resolution in places like Myanmar and Iraq, among others.

“So as a global citizen, we believe he will add his international network to the president’s reputation as one of Africa’s most reliable leaders.

“On the local scene, his professional and administrative experiences, as well as extensive contacts, will help maintain the legacy of good governance that President Buhari is bequeathing to Nigeria.

“Gambari’s loyalty to any cause he believes in will also stand him in good stead with a President that is consistent in using that value, as well as shared vision as part of his criteria in picking his personal staff.”

Akinsiju added that Gambari’s appointment as Chief of Staff emphasises the determination of President Buhari to always pick the best available.

He urged top government officials and all Nigerians to fully cooperate with him.

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