A former director-general, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has urged Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who is the new Chief of Staff to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to use his new office to stop the imminent disintegration of Nigeria.
The ex-NIIA DG, in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, described Prof. Ibrahim Gambari as very patriotic. He drew his attention to the threat to national unity and advised him to use his new office to tackle it.
He said, “I believe from all indicators that Nigeria is currently on the path of a very violent disintegration but some people don’t take this seriously.
“Despite that, some people are preparing for the worst case scenario. Some people believe the President has Fulanisation agenda, some say he has Islamisation agenda and Fulani herdsmen are pushing themselves to the South, occupying land which already has rightful owners. This is why some believe they (Fulani herdsmen) are agents of the Boko Haram which is seeking an Islamic state.
“He should have able assistants to brief him daily on what Nigerians are saying and he should be able to book appointments of those aggrieved with the President and join the ministers to achieve the presidential mandate. He has a role to play in bringing Nigeria back from the brink of disintegration.”
Reacting to an excerpt from Ambassador Dapo Fafowora’s memoir, ‘Lest I Forget’, which went viral immediately Gambari appointed, Akinterinwa said Fafowora did not release the excerpt which criticizes Gambari. He explained that some people lifted the part of the book and started circulating it when Gambari was named the new CoS.
The former NIIA DG said, “I think what they are saying is that a fanatic should not occupy the office of the Chief of Staff to the President and that is why they cited part of that book which has gone viral now.
“I don’t think Prof. Fafowora is saying that Gambari should not be appointed as Chief of Staff. He did not release that excerpt now. What was the position of Gambari when Fafowora was an Acting Permanent Representative in the UN?
“Dapo Fafowora does not have anything to gain by saying Gambari should not be appointed as the Chief of Staff. But I think he is thinking that Gambari should not go to the office of the Chief of Staff to promote Islamic fundamentalism. He (Gambari) reported Fafowora that he was not attending Islamic meetings at the UN but that was against the status of Nigeria at that time. Gambari did not understand that at that time and he reported him. He did whatever was possible and they retired Fafowora wrongly.”