Buhari’s Ex CoS Reveals Why Obasanjo Failed To Become UN Secretary-General

Buhari’s Ex CoS Reveals Why Obasanjo Failed To Become UN Secretary-General

Former Chief of Staff to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari and top diplomat, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo almost became the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) in 1991.

Speaking at the public presentation of the biography of the first African UN Secretary-General, the late Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who assumed office in 1991 but served only one term till 1996, Gambari revealed that Obasanjo’s military background disqualified him from being selected by the countries with veto power.

Recalling the event leading to the selection of the late Boutros-Ghali as the US Secretary General in 1991, Buhari’s former CoS said some envoy told him back then: “Your candidate (Olusegun Obasanjo) has no chance in hell of becoming secretary.”

He said, “I asked: ‘What do you mean? He is the most qualified former head of state, handed over power voluntarily to civilians, and was head of the group that led to the process of the end of apartheid.’

“He said ‘No. Listen carefully, when we, the big ones, are looking for a Sec Gen, the emphasis is on the secretary and not on the general.’ A very profound statement.

“The thing was that the veto ruling power wanted somebody they could dictate to, not a general, who would be giving them orders. Sometimes, they think they are getting a secretary, but they end up getting a general.

“Ghali, who they thought would be a secretary, turned out to be a general, and Koffi Annan, who they thought was a secretary, turned out to be a general.

“When you turn out to be different from what the big powers want, they do something about it. Boutros-Ghali was not given a second term, and Koffi Annan was nearly forced to retire over frivolous charges.”

Gambari also touched on the high and low points of Boutros-Ghali’s career, saying the 1994 Rwanda genocide was the low point of his career.

He said, “It was under his watch that the UN failed to respond adequately and to prevent genocide, and when it was happening, the big powers also did nothing.”

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