Nigeria's Security Challenges and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari's Appointment



The unprecedented level of insecurity in the country today and its toll on lives, property and the economy demands swift action. Nigeria was ranked the 16th most dangerous country on the 2020 Global Peace Index; third most terrorised country on the Global Terrorism Index, while Boko Haram/ISWAP, unidentified and unprofiled militants and bandits are in the top five list of the world’s most deadly terror groups. Despite billions of Naira appropriated for security, the country is more insecure today than any other time in its history.

Prof Gambari have been resolving conflicts throughout his stay in the UN, as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005), he has in that capacity worked closely with heads of government and key policy-makers in Africa to resolve several conflicts.

Interestingly, Prof Gambari’s last assignment at the United Nations was the Joint Special Representative of the Secretary General and Chairperson of the African Union Commission/Head of the UN and AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) from January 2010 to July 2012, UNAMID was the world’s largest international peacekeeping mission. Prof Gambari navigated a difficult peace keeping operation between the government of Sudan and those international forces who were intent on a Khartoum regime change.

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Many concerned Nigerians have been expressing disappointments at how messy and uncoordinated the nation’s security leadership has become, impunity and inter-agency feuding bursting into the public glare that ruptured and damaged our security and defence system to the extent of preventing from attaining the desired security performance level.

Coincidentally, Prof Gambari is coming at a critical time when Nigeria is facing multiple conflicts spread across almost all our states.

Though the responsibility of the chief of staff to the president as obtainable in the US where Nigeria’s presidential system of government was mimicked from indicates that the job is both managerial and advisory. It has been listed for instance that job entails the selection of key staff for the president and supervising them; structuring the staff system in the presidency, controlling the flow of people into the office of the president; managing the flow of information; protecting the interests of the president; negotiating with congress, other members of the executive branch and extra-governmental political groups to implement the president's agenda among other functions.

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Having served as the minister for foreign affairs in the country, also with the record of being the longest-serving Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations under five Heads of State and Presidents, Prof. Gambari is well furnished with requisite qualifications to guide the presidency in reaching-out with all the countries that matters in ensuring that Nigeria is free from insurgency and other security challenges.

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From the foregoing, it is evidently clear that Prof Gambari has the capacity in helping the president in galvanizing all the security apparatus to achieve the desired results.

Going more specific, majority of us in the north east believed that, with the coming of Prof Gambari, whose wealth of experience is overwhelming, we have the firm belief that Mr. President is going to be enriched with new, fresh ideas on how to fully nip the Boko Haram insurgency in the bud.

At the end, we pray that Allah will provide him with the needed wisdom to approach each situation in the best way possible!!!

Abubakar M Kareto writes from Maiduguri and can be reached at

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