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How Nigeria Former President Olusegun Obasanjo missed opportunity to be UN Secretary-General – Gambari

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed how the former President Olusegun Obasanjo missed out the opportunity to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Gambari stated this at the public presentation of the biography of the first African UN Secretary-General, the late Boutros Boutros-Ghal.

The late Boutros-Ghal assumed office in 1991 but served only one term till 1996.

According to Gambari, Obasanjo’s military background disqualified him from being selected by the countries with veto power.

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Speaking on the event that led to the choice of the late Boutros-Ghali as the US Secretary General in 1991, Gambari said some envoy told him, “Your candidate (Olusegun Obasanjo) has no chance in hell of becoming secretary.”

The former Chief of Staff 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 noted that apart from being the first UN Secretary-General from the African continent, Boutros-Ghali was also the first Post-Cold War Secretary General but encountered difficulty organising a security council meeting that had all the heads of states as delegates.

He said, “He hardly had a meeting of the security council where the chief delegates were the heads of states of those member states.”

Gambari described the 1994 Rwanda genocide as the low point of Boutros-Ghali’s 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.”

He added that Boutros-Ghali acted as a peace-making prophet in terms of being the de-facto foreign minister of Egypt during the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel between 1977 and 1981……CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE ( He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email:

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