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Nigerians mourn Abba Kyari

He Was the Best of Us – Buhari Foreign Leaders, Ex-Heads of State Pay Tribute Death Rattles Kaduna Neighbours Race For New Chief of Staff…

  • He Was the Best of Us – Buhari

  • Foreign Leaders, Ex-Heads of State Pay Tribute

  • Death Rattles Kaduna Neighbours

  • Race For New Chief of Staff Begins


President Muhammad Buhari yesterday paid a glowing tribute to his late Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, who died on Friday at the age of 67 from complications caused by the coronavirus.

President Buhari extolled the enormous sacrifices and contributions made by the deceased to his administration and the overall development of the nation.

He described Kyari as a true Nigerian patriot, loyal friend, compatriot for the last 42 years, who never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of everyone.

He said the late chief of staff “was the very best of us who was made of the stuff that makes Nigeria great” and prayed for the soul of his dearest friend to rest in peace.

Buhari condole the wife and family of the deceased.

“He was only in his twenties when we first met. A diligent student, soon after he was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad – first at Warwick and then law at the University of Cambridge. But there was never any question Abba would bring his first-rate skills and newly acquired world-class knowledge back to Nigeria – which he did – Immediately upon graduation.

“Whilst possessing the sharpest legal and organisational mind, Abba’s true focus was always the development of infrastructure and the assurance of security for the people of this nation he served so faithfully. For he knew that without both in tandem there can never be the development of the respectful society and vibrant economy that all Nigerian citizens deserve.

“In political life, Abba never sought elective office for himself. Rather, he set himself against the view and conduct of two generations of Nigeria’s political establishment – who saw corruption as an entitlement and its practice a byproduct of possessing political office.

“Becoming my Chief of Staff in 2015, he strove quietly and without any interest in publicity or personal gain to implement my agenda.

“There are those who said of him that he must be secretive – because he did not have a high public profile. But Abba was the opposite: he simply had no need, nor did he seek the cheap gratification of the crowd; for him, there was nothing to be found in popular adulation. He secured instead satisfaction and his reward solely and only from the improvement of the governance of this great country.

“Working, without fail, seven days each and every week, he acted forcefully as a crucial gatekeeper to the presidency, ensuring no one – whether minister or governor had access beyond another – and that all those representing and serving our country were treated equally.

“He made clear in his person and his practice, always, that every Nigerian – regardless of faith, family, fortune or frailty – was heard and treated respectfully and the same.”

The President directed strict observance of the social distancing rules as prescribed by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and other safe hygiene practices as advised by relevant local authorities.

He urged that prayers be offered for the repose of soul of the departed Chief of Staff as he would not be available for condolence visitors.

The President expressed appreciation to foreign leaders and all Nigerians who sent a stream of messages over what he called the “irreparable loss”.

The late Chief of Staff was buried at Gudu cemetery in Abuja around 11:20am.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement issued that the burial marked the end of all ceremonies, adding that there would be no condolence visits to family and the Presidency.

Shehu advised well-wishers and all other Nigerians to instead pray for the repose of the soul of the late chief of staff.

Shehu, while speaking earlier yesterday at the residence of the deceased, said the wife of Malam Kyari had a view of the body of her late husband in line with her wish.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo joined other Nigerians to mourn Kyari.

Osinbajo, in a statement released yesterday by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, condoled with President Buhari, the wife of the deceased, Mrs Kulu Kyari, the children, and members of the family.

“Dolapo and I express our sympathies to the President, Mrs Kulu Kyari, the children, and members of the family on the passing of the late Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President. May the Lord comfort and be with you all in Jesus name. Amen,” the Vice President said.


Kyari’s death a proof that COVID-19 is real – SGF

The SGF, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, yesterday appealed to all Nigerians to take the matter of the coronavirus pandemic seriously by adhering to the advice of health authorities on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

Mustapha, who spoke to State House reporters at Gudu soon after Kyari was buried, said his death is a proof to Nigerians that COVID-19 is real and it is a matter of life and death.

He said: “There are very big lessons to learn from the death of Abba Kyari. One of the key lessons for me is that this thing is real and it has come home. How closer can it be to us than this? That is why I keep saying that we should not play with this issue. It is not a joke.”

Dr Ali  Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, offered prayers for the deceased as part of the funeral rites which attended by Boss Mustapha; the Minister of State, Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; the former Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi; former Governor of Borno State,  Sen. Kashim Shetimma; Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu, and the publisher of Leadership Newspapers Sam Nda-Isiah, among others.


Foreign leaders, ex-heads of state condole Buhari

President Buhari yesterday received condolence messages from foreign and national leaders over the death of his late chief of staff.

Presidential media aide, Shehu, said the President received telephone calls from President Nana Akuffo-Ado of Ghana and President Muhammadou Youssoufou of Niger Republic.

He also received calls of condolences from ex-President Yayi Boni of Benin Republic and two former Nigerian Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar.

President Buhari also received similar messages of condolence from the embassies of friendly countries, including Egypt, Chad and Liberia.

He also received similar messages from former governors of Katsina, Sa’idu Barda, Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara as well as the former Senate President, Ken Nnamanni, the Sultan of Sokoto Dr Sa’ad Abubakar II and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle.

The Emirs of Kazaure, Najib Hussaini Adamu, Kebbi, General Muhammadu Ilyasu Bashar (rtd), and that of Machina, Alhaji Bashir Al-Bashir Bukar; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote and the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu were among the early callers.

According to the statement, calls to the President were also received from Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, former Ministers, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and Gen. Ike Umaru Sanda Nwachukwu; Senators Monsurat Sunmonu and Kabiru Marafa as well as Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Femi Adesina, in a separate statement issued yesterday, said President Buhari also receiving condolence messages the former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who said “Abba Kyari was a true and immeasurably committed patriot who gave all he had in the service of our country, Nigeria.”

Similar messages came from the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim,

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