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Why NACA ex-boss may get UNAIDS job

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Sani Aliyu


Though the resignation of the erstwhile Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof Sani Aliyu, might have unsettled the system, there are indications that he might emerge as the next Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/ AIDS (UNAiDS).

Not only did Aliyu get the endorsement of the immediate past Minister of Health, Pro Isaac Adewole, The Guardian gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari has equally backed him for the top post.

A reliable source told The Guardian that Aliyu resigned his appointment one year to the end of his tenure, to enable him pursue the position of the Executive Secretary of UNAIDS, adding that the Presidency recommended him to UN for the position.

The source disclosed that Aliyu is upbeat that he will clinch the top UN job, adding that Adewole is seriously campaigning for his emergence.
Adewole in a document titled, ‘Search for UNAIDS Executive Director: An opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to global AIDS response’, which was obtained by The Guardian, said what Dr Aliyu did in Nigeria was everything UNAIDS is looking for in the new Executive Director, adding that his integrity, credibility, courage, dynamism and wide acceptance amongst stakeholders will be great assets to the building of a new UNAIDS.

The former Minister insisted that Aliyu’s candidacy presents an opportunity for a fresh re-engineering of UNAIDS and the global AIDS response especially at this time, and will mobilize every stakeholder towards fast-tracking progress that will end HIV/AIDS as a public health concern. The source revealed that if Aliyu fails to secure the UN job, he would be going back to his lecturing job at the Cambridge University.

According to the source, Aliyu’s plan when he took up the NACA job was to spend only two years and return to his lecturing job at the Cambridge University where he still have about 18 years to spend.Following his resignation, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Dr Gambo Aliyu as the new DG.

This is contained in a statement issues by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle, who said the appointment is for an initial term of four years and takes effect from June 26, 2019.“The new DG who is an epidemiologist and Public Health specialist, was the chief of party for the Nigeria Indicator and Impact Survey until his appointment.“He attended the Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria, Nigeria, where he obtained Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1995, later proceed to University of Maryland, to obtain PhD in Epidemiology in 2012,” the statement read in part.


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