Buhari Gets a New Chief of Staff and Less Ado About Nothing

Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, has named a replacement for his former chief of staff, Abba Kyari. Ibrahim Gambari, a former Ambassador, is from the middle belt state of emirate of Ilorin.He is also a Fulani even though his middle name ,Agboala,is Yoruba.
Mr Gambari participated in Nigeria’s first virtual federal executive council meeting, Wednesday, local media report in overly hyped tones. 
A normally tepid and quiet  office, late Abba Kyari elevated the chief of staff’s status above any other office in the now almost lawless country. Mr Kyari was able to query the National assembly, ministers and even the vice President.
Theories abound in Nigeria as to why the office of the chief of staff is such a coveted prize in Nigeria. One says that he is the “eye and earn of Mr President”. Another says that the “real” Buhari is non -compomentis a la Joe Biden.Another way of saying that Mr Buhari is a figurehead. 
The President, with all the talk of tough guy and integrity, is in reality, a very weak person. Between 1983-85 when he was military head of state,his deputy, Tunde Idiagbon, was the real ruler and it was while the latter was away in Saudi Arabia that General Babagida had Buhari handcuffed without any resistance. Mr Buhari was also a minion of former dictator, Sani Abacha. Between 2014/15 when he won the election, the  total number of  minutes he campaigned was 58. His enemies kept a score sheet. 
And precisely because of Mr Buhari’s weaknesses, those who appointed Mr Gambari may have walked into a trap. 
To start with, he is from the same place as one of the chief rivals of the government, Bukola Saraki, former Senate President. Given the loose union that is  Mr Buhari’s APC, the ruling party, Mr Saraki just got presidential powers in a roundabout kinda way.
Babagana Kingibe, one of the shadows in the weak Presidency, was considered too smart. Mr Kingibe almost took powers from Musa Ya’Adua when he was government secretary. 
Those who know the trap the system has walked into are reeling out Mr Gambari’s roles in promoting Islam, suppressing the rule of law ,etc. But it is too late. Some fear that he is too educated for Mr Buhari and won’t be the sort of mouse the vice president has become. Others, like I said,fear that Mr Saraki will control the chief of staff and thus the government. 
Finally, unless you are a current affairs addict most people don’t know the names of chiefs of staff to functional presidents. Say,chief of staff to Vladimir Putin and Olusegun Obasanjo, for example.
But it is a big deal in today’s Nigeria because President Buhari is ,in all intents and purposes, a paper tiger. Vaguely seen and even vaguelier heard.
Some interests will try to put a chain on Mr Gambari lest he morphed into a worse version of Abba Kyari. Mr Gambari will,in turn, be tempted by power.
When the fight for control starts, then there will be much ado. But for now, it is just noise. 

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