Baba Gana Kingibe

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Baba Gana Kingibe
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Preceded byMatthew Mbu
Succeeded byTom Ikimi
Minister of Internal Affairs
Minister of Power and Steel
Secretary to the Federal Government
In office
July 2007 – Sept 2008
Succeeded byMahmud Yayale Ahmed
Personal details
Born (1945-06-25) 25 June 1945 (age 73)

Baba Gana Kingibe (born 25 June 1945)[1] is a Nigerian politician and political appointee having held many high-level Nigerian governmental posts. He hails from Borno State in the northeastern part of Nigeria, and is of Kanuri extraction.

Amb. Baba Gana Kingibe also served from October 2002 to September 2006 as AU Special Envoy to Sudan and subsequently Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and head of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and Darfur.[2]

Early life[edit]

Kingibe was born on the 25th of June, 1945 to the family of Mustafa Shuwa and Ya Kingi Mallam. He grew up in city of Maiduguri and attended primary schools in the city. In 1958, he was admitted into the Borno Provincial Secondary School, however, in 1960, he traveled to London to complete his O'Level and A-level at Bishop's Stortford College under a Borno Native Authority sponsored scholarship scheme. He took up further studies earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations at the University of Sussex where he was mates with Thabo Mbeki;[3] he started pursuing a doctorate programme in Switzerland but he left the program before completing his degree. He returned to Nigeria and started work as a Research and Planning Officer at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but he soon left the college to become the head of Features and Current Affairs at the Broadcasting Corporation of Northern Nigeria. In 1972, he joined the Nigerian Foreign Service where he started work as a senior counselor and later became the head of the political desk at the Nigerian High Commission in London. During the Obasanjo administration in the late 1970s, Kingibe worked in the political department as principal secretary and was involved in the government's return to civil rule programme, states creation and boundary adjustment, local government reforms and the constitutional drafting committee.[4] In 1981,at age 36, he was appointed the Nigerian ambassador to Greece and later the country's representative in Pakistan.

Political career[edit]

SDP years[edit]

Kingibe entered Nigerian political scene during the beginning of the Third Nigerian Republic. In 1988, he was made director of organization of the People's Front of Nigeria (PFN) [5] which was then led by Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. The PFN later joined Social Democratic Party in 1989. During the conduct of elections for national executive positions in the party, Kingibe was sponsored by the People's Front faction of SDP as the party's chairman, a position he went on to clinch. As chairman, Kingibe was involved in the organization of party's gubernatorial and presidential primaries in 1991 and 1992 respectively. However, after the cancellations of presidential elections in 1992 in which Shehu Yaradua was a candidate, Kingibe put himself forward as a presidential candidate. He made a split from his initial camp,[6] the PFN group and used his relationships with SDP state party chairman to build his campaign. He lost the keenly contested primary conducted in Jos but after much prodding from SDP governors, he was selected by the primary winner, MKO Abiola as Vice-presidential running mate, creating a Muslim-Muslim ticket which was initially thought to be a deal breaker in the general elections.[6] The pair won the electoral majority although the result was annulled by abdicating president General Ibrahim Babangida. Baba later joined General Sani Abacha as the Foreign Minister of Nigeria from 1993 to 1995. Baba also served as Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Power and Steel, Nigeria's Ambassador to Greece and Pakistan.[2]

Fourth Republic[edit]

In June 2007, he was appointed Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria. He was unceremoniously removed from office on September 8, 2008 by the President, Umaru Yar'Adua after spreading rumors about the President's ill-health while believed to be contending for the presidency.[2][7]


On the 6th of June 2018, the Federal Government of Nigeria declared June 12 as the new date for the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day. The government announced this on Wednesday, saying it is to honour late MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. The government also awarded Abiola with the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) honour. A statement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari said Baba Gana Kingibe, Abiola’s running mate during the election, and Gani Fawehinmi, one of Nigeria’s foremost rights activist, now late, are also to be conferred with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).


  1. ^ Profile of Baba Gana Kingibe
  2. ^ a b c "Nigeria president exerts authority in power struggle" Mail & Guardian retrieved September 11, 2008
  3. ^ "A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream". Palgrave Macmillan. 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  4. ^ African Concord (1990). The New Helmsmen. Concord Press, Ikeja, Lagos. August 13, 1990
  5. ^ Idowu Adelusi. Kingibe to move to Aso Rock Villa?. Nigerian Tribune, July 7, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Frank Kokori: The Struggle for June 12". Safari Books. 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Nigerian leader appears in public" BBC News

External links[edit]