President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, paid glowing tributes to his late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, who died on Friday night at the age of 67 following complications from the coronavirus disease. Kyari had tested positive for COVID-19 about three weeks ago and was receiving treatment at a private hospital in Lagos, before he succumbed to the virus.
He was buried yesterday at the Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, amid outpouring of tributes by Nigerians from all walks of life. Many acknowledged his invaluable role in the success of the Buhari administration and presidency.
In an emotional statement, Buhari praised Kyari for being a loyal friend and compatriot of 42 years, particularly acknowledging him as a crucial gatekeeper to the presidency, and “the very best of us”.
The statement personally signed by the President and titled, TO MY FRIEND, MALLAM ABBA KYARI, said, “Mallam Abba Kyari, who died on 17th April, 2020, at the age of 67 from complications caused by the coronavirus, was a true Nigerian patriot. My loyal friend and compatriot for the last 42 years – and latterly my Chief-of-Staff – he never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of every one of us.
“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 by-product of possessing political office.”
After becoming his Chief of Staff in 2015, Buhari said he strove quietly and without any interest in publicity or personal gain to implement his agenda.
He stated, “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.
“Mallam Abba Kyari was the very best of us. He was made of the stuff that makes Nigeria great.
“Rest In Peace, my dearest friend.”
Buhari added, “To his loving wife and doting family, who survive him, I extend my heartfelt sorrow at your loss.”
Another statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said, “On the sad occasion of the demise of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff, the president has directed on three things.
“First, that this tribute be issued in recognition of the enormous sacrifices and contributions made by the deceased to the success of his politics and administration, and to the overall development of the nation.
“Second, the president wishes to direct strict observance of the social distancing rules as prescribed by the National Centre for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Health; and other safe hygiene practices as advised by relevant local authorities.
“In this regard, the president will not be available for condolence visitors but urges, in place of that, prayers be offered for the repose of soul of the departed Chief of Staff.
“Third, the president wishes to convey his deep appreciation to foreign leaders and all Nigerians, from whom a stream of messages have been reaching him over this irreparable loss.”
How Kyari Was Buried
Kyari’s body was interred at 11.21 am by men dressed in protective gear, after prayer for the repose of his soul was held at the Defence House in Maitama, Abuja. His remains had arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 9am from Lagos, where he died on Friday.
The corpse was moved from there to the Defence House, where it was received by government officials, including the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Abubakar Rufai, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, at 10am before heading for the cemetery.
Kyari’s sudden journey to the world beyond was the fallout of his trip to Germany on March 7 along with the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman. There, they held meetings with officials of Siemens, a German energy company, over the on-going power deal between the company and Nigeria.
He developed symptoms of COVID-19 on March 23, when he reportedly coughed profusely at a meeting and consequently went into isolation.
He tested positive to the disease 24 hours later and was in isolation in Abuja until March 29, when he announced his movement to Lagos for further treatment.
In a statement he personally issued on March 26, Kyari for the first time, formally announced that he was infected with the disease and hence, his decision to move to Lagos for “further testing and observation.”
Kyari, who assured Nigerians that he was “well” and showed no sign of high fever, which is one of the symptoms of the disease, expressed confidence that he would resume at his duty post very soon.
However, his wish was not to be as he breathed his last on Friday, returning to Abuja in a casket and leaving his dream to return to the State House to continue his work aborted.
A statement issued by Shehu after the burial yesterday said the interment of Kyari marked the end of all ceremonies surrounding his transition. It added that there would be no condolence visits to both his family and the presidency.
The statement, which said well wishers should rather pray for the repose of his soul, added that a condolence register would be opened in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) from Sunday, April 19.
The statement read, “The remains of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, arrived in Abuja Saturday morning from Lagos, and have been buried at Gudu cemetery after funeral prayers at his residence.
“As advised by the protocols put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health on social distancing, the burial marks the end of all ceremonies and there will be no condolence visits to family and the Presidency.
“Well-wishers and all other Nigerians are instead advised to pray for the repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff.
“A condolence register will be opened at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) from Sunday for those who are able to use the window permitted for movement by the FCT administration.”
His Brief Profile
Until he tested positive for COVID-19, Kyari was a formidable force in the administration of Buhari since 2015, determining along with few others, who got what in the government. His image loomed large in the government and every government official and presidential aide was careful not to have any issue with him due to the consequences.
So powerful was he that even the president asked his ministers, who wanted audience with him, to report to Kyari.
Born on November 17, 1953, Kyari, a Kanuri from Borno State, was educated at the University of Warwick in England, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1980. He proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the University of Cambridge, England, and was called to the bar in 1983. He went further to obtain a Master’s degree in Law in 1984 from the University of Cambridge.
Kyari was versatile. He was a journalist, lawyer and banker who rose to the peak of the professions.
As a journalist, he was an editor of Democrats, a newspaper published by a former President of the Newspapers’ Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Isa Funtua, between 1988 and 1990. He briefly served as Borno State Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in 1990 and became Secretary to the Board of African International Bank Limited from 1990 to 1995.
Kyari was an Executive Director, Management Services, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and was appointed Managing Director of the bank in 2002.
He was until his appointment as Chief of Staff to the President a member of the Editorial Board of THISDAY and also served on the board of UAC and ExxonMobil.
It’s a Personal Loss to Buhari, Says Mustapha
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, described Abba Kyari’s death as a personal loss to Buhari and a great loss to the nation. Mustapha said his demise was also a personal loss to him, because the deceased was a good man, who did a great job for Nigeria.
The SGF stated, “It is a personal loss to me, the president and to the nation. I believe Malam Abba will be remembered for so many things. He has done a great job for the nation. Malam Abba was a very good man and very determined, intellectually upright and he had a lot of foresight.
“A lot of people didn’t understand Malam Abba but I worked with him for three years and I can tell you that he was a wonderful person. He was a good man; deep down in his heart, he always meant well and I looked up to him as a senior brother in the course of the work that we did in the last three years.”
Osinbajo to Buhari: I Sympathise with You
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, condoled with the family of the late Kyari over his demise, praying God to comfort the them.
“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,” Osinbajo said in a tweet.
Aisha: May God Forgive His Shortcomings
The First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, also offered her sympathies to the Kyari family and prayed God to forgive his sins. She wrote, “From God Almighty we came and to him we shall return. I condole with Mrs. Kulu Abba Kyari and the entire family of Late Malam Abba Kyari over the death of their husband and father.
“I pray that Allah (SWT) will forgive his shortcomings, grant him Al-Jannatul Firdausi and give the family the fortitude and patience to bear the loss, Ameen.
“While wishing all those infected a speedy recovery, I pray for an end to COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lawan: Kyari Played His Role Well
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who said he received news of Kyari’s passing with shock, wrote regarding the deceased, “He was a man of deep convictions and courage, who understood his role and performed it with uncommon dedication and effectiveness.
“He shared the values of President Buhari and his passion for the emancipation of the poor in Nigeria and the all-round development of the country for the benefit of all its people.
“Mallam Kyari played his role well and will always be appreciated, more so now that the Almighty Allah has called time on his earthly sojourn.” Lawan’s message was contained in a statement by his media assistant, Ola Awoniyi.
Obasanjo: I Received the News with Great Sadness
In a one-page condolence letter personally signed and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said, “I received the news of the demise of Alhaji Abba Kyari, your Chief of Staff, over Friday night, with great sadness, as he lost the battle against the dreadful killer disease, COVID-19.
“Abba Kyari’s death must be painful to you and to his family and friends, but you can all take solace in the fact that he died in harness, in the service of his country.
“His death must be a solemn reminder to all of us that COVID-19 requires all hands on deck, soberly, cooperatively, humanly, humanely, justly, equitably, fairly, consolidatedly, and comprehensively to be able to fight it successfully and to get all Nigerians back to good health and healthy economy. God will give you and Abba Kyari’s family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. May Allah receive his soul.”
Jonathan Prays for Kyari, Family
Former President Goodluck Jonathan condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari and the family of his late Chief of Staff, praying God to grant him Aljannah Firdaus.
Jonathan, who tweeted his condolences, wrote, “I condole with H.E @MBuhari, the Kyari family & all sympathisers on the demise of Mallam Abba Kyari, who until his death was the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria. May Allah grant him Al Jannah Firdaus & strengthen his family & friends during this moment of grief.”
Tinubu: His Influence Was Profound
National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described Kyari as a man of accomplishment, whose death should not be in vain.
Tinubu said, “I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Malam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President. He was an extremely able, loyal and talented man, who dedicated his considerable skills to the success of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Whatever someone will try to say about Mallam Kyari, the words will prove insufficient. His influence in government and throughout the land was substantial and profound. He will surely be missed. My deepest condolences go to President Buhari, the people of Nigeria and, especially, the family of Mallam kyari over this tragic loss.
“May Almighty Allah comfort the president and the Kyari family at this difficult moment.
“This death came at a time the government is working assiduously to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. We must not allow the passing away of Mallam Kyari and the other Nigerians who have lost their lives to this terrible disease to be in vain. Although we are today made sad, we must also use this moment to strengthen our resolve in fighting the pandemic.”
Atiku: Our Prayers Are With You
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said he was saddened by the death of Kyari and prayed that Allah should comfort his family and those left behind
Atiku stated, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. I am saddened by the death of Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. May Allah SWT comfort his family, forgive his sins and grant him AlJannah Firdaus. Ameen.
“I have received the death of your Chief of Staff with profound grief and sorrow, and I convey to you my deepest and heartfelt sympathies at this sombre moment.
“Mr. President, my heart and prayers are with you at this emotionally challenging moment as you come to terms with the death of your dedicated Chief of Staff. We are bound by common humanity and I therefore feel and share your grief at this moment. May Allah forgive the deceased and grant him eternal bliss in paradise.”
Saraki: I Pray God Forgive His Sins
Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who also took to his twitter handle to commiserate with the deceased’s family, said, “I commiserate with President @MBuhari and the Kyari family over the passing away of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him Aljannah Firdaus.”
Omo-Agege: He Was a Hardworking Patriot
Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege, said Kyari’s death was a rude shock, stressing that Nigerians must pray for divine help for President Muhammadu Buhari in charting the way forward.
“Mallam Kyari was a very hardworking patriot. I still recall his last official statement in which he admonished us all about the coronavirus pandemic’s virulent threat to everyone without any consideration for class, creed or place of origin.”
It’s a Heavy Loss, Says Ekweremadu
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on his Twitter handle, @iamekweremadu said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing on of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari. It is a heavy loss to the Presidency and the nation, which he gave his all. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, the Presidency, and the entire nation. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.”
Amaechi: He Was Forthright
Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, described Abba Kyari as a forthright, seasoned and remarkable administrator, who took his job seriously and contributed immensely to the Buhari administration.
Amaechi said in a chat with THISDAY, “Today, I join Nigerians, members of the cabinet and staff of the presidency to mourn late Abba Kyari and pray for the repose of his soul. I also pray that his wife, Mrs. Kulu Abba Kyari, his family and loved ones find strength in this very trying time to bear this heavy loss.
“Abba Kyari was a great patriot, who loved Nigeria and his job. You may disagree with him, but you can’t deny his forthrightness. He will be missed in the cabinet, where he displayed great brilliance and intelligence. He will be missed by friends, family and the nation and may his gentle soul rest in peace.”
APC: Buhari Lost a Competent Hand
The leadership of APC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the president had lost a competent, trusted, loyal, strong right hand man and long-time adviser, who promoted, protected and defended his interest in good times and adversity. The statement said, “Even in death, the fond memories and indelible strides Mallam Abba Kyari left on earth will be celebrated for a long time. We remember a cerebral Nigerian, who excelled in his private dealings, professional endeavours, and public service.”
It’s a Painful Loss, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement by National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, comforted Buhari, the Kyari family, the government and people of Borno State and the nation at large for the painful loss, and prayed that the Almighty Allah grants Kyari eternal rest.
PDP also commiserated with families of all the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and prayed for the speedy recovery of the sick receiving treatment in various isolation centres.
Gbajabiamila, CUPP: We’re Saddened!
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) also expressed sadness over the passing of Kyari.
The Speaker, in a condolence message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said Nigeria had lost a patriot in the person of Kyari.
The message said, “With Kyari’s and other Nigerians’ death as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the country needs to do everything possible to avoid further spread of the disease, while taking care of those that tested positive so far. I am particularly saddened and shocked at the demise of the Chief of Staff to the President. Here was a person, who was highly patriotic and who showed the highest level of commitment and dedication to duty.
“Malam Abba Kyari would be remembered for his contributions to the development of the country at various stages of his life, including the last few years that he had served as the Chief of Staff to the President. I believe Kyari died while serving the country as he contracted the disease during his trip to Germany in March on a national assignment as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the intractable electricity problem in the country.
“This is, indeed, a great loss to Nigeria. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this trying time. I also want to extend my condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari for this loss. Death is inevitable for every human. The deaths of Malam Abba Kyari and other Nigerians at this time call for us all to rise as a nation and fight the COVID-19 pandemic in every possible way we can.”
CUPP, in a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said, “At the breaking of the news that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, had contracted the dreaded COVID-19, we prayed for his quick recovery. However, we are saddened by the news that he could not make it and has passed away.
“This is an irreparable loss to the President and capable of affecting him in the delivery of dividends of democracy to Nigerians. We pray for the repose of his soul and also that God Almighty grants the President the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Senate Minority Caucus Mourns
The PDP senators in the National Assembly, in a statement by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, consoled the president, the presidency, the federal government, and the family of the deceased.
“We in the Senate Minority caucus condole with President Buhari, the federal government and the family of Mallam Kyari and pray that the Lord receive his soul and grant him eternal rest,” Abaribe said.
Fayemi: It’s a Devastating Death
Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commiserated with Buhari and the family of the deceased. A statement by Fayemi’s media aide, Yinka Oyebode, described Kyari’s death as saddening and devastating, saying it is a great tragedy and a monumental loss to Nigeria at a very critical period.
It described Kyari as a committed patriot and altruistic servant, who dedicated his life to the service of his fatherland, both in the private and public sectors. Fayemi said the late Chief of Staff was a go-getter, who delivered on any assignment committed to his hands, because of his belief that service should always come first.
“While the nation is mourning the death of Malam Abba Kyari, his death should unite all Nigerians, irrespective of their leanings, to join hands with the government to defeat COVID-19. COVID-19 is a common enemy that we must all defeat. Mallam Kyari’s death should further fire our collective resolve to fight the pandemic to a standstill,” the governor stated.
Sanwo-Olu: His Death, a Monumental Loss
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, while condoling with President Buhari, said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, that the death of Mallam Abba Kyari was shocking, painful and a monumental loss to the nation, the people and government of Borno, and the Kyari family.
“I received the sad news of the death of Mallam Abba Kyari, an astute public servant, with a heavy heart. Mallam Kyari was a dedicated Nigerian, a deeply committed and patriotic citizen, who contributed remarkably to the smooth and successful running of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
He described Kyari as a “conscientious, competent, cerebral and outstanding administrator whose life traversed the fields of law, journalism, banking and politics.” Sanwo-Olu said Kyari’s death was a great loss to Nigeria, happening at a time the country was desirous of more deeply patriotic individuals to contribute selflessly towards the development of the country.
Bagudu: A Call for Unity against COVID-19
Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu, in a statement on Saturday, said the death of Kyari was a further call on all Nigerians to be united in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“We received the death of Mallam Abba Kyari with heavy heart and gratitude to Allah (SWT) for a life well blessed. We, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), join the family, President Muhammadu Buhari and the nation to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear and beloved Mallam Abba Kyari. His death is a loss to the nation and the Nigerian progressive community.”
Yahaya: We Lost a Dedicated Gentleman
Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said Nigeria had lost a fine and dedicated gentleman, a patriot and a reliable administrator, who was always mindful of his duties and responsibilities.
“On behalf of the government and people of Gombe State, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. President, the family of the deceased as well as the government and people of his home state, Borno, over this great loss,” Yahaya stated.
Abdulrasaq: We’ll Sorely Miss Kyari
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a statement in Ilorin by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, said, “The death of the Chief of Staff is a huge loss. We mourn Mallam Abba. He will be sorely missed.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kwara State, we commiserate with Mr. President, the Federal Executive Council, and the immediate and extended family of Mallam Abba. We pray Almighty Allah to grant him Al-jannah firdaus.”
Malami: I’m in Deep Pain
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the news of Kyari’s death flung him into deep pain and agony. Malami said, “Malam Abba Kyari was a paragon of virtue, patriotic citizen, who rendered selfless service to Nigeria. As a dedicated individual with an unflinching commitment, his passion to nation building was unwavering. He was, indeed, loyalty personified.
“I express heartfelt condolences to the Presidency, the family of the late Malam Abba Kyari, and the entire nation on this irreparable loss. The death is, indeed, a crumble of a giant pillar. May the Almighty Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus. Amin.”
He Was an Experienced Administrator, Says Gambari
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, in a condolence message by his media aide, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, described Kyari’s death as a national loss and disaster
He stated, “Late Abba Kyari’s contributions to the national growth and development as a trusted hand and confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be over emphasised in the space of time.
“The deceased was an experienced administrator and nationalist, who demonstrated his worth through his discharge of unquantifiable support for the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to give Nigerians quality leadership and governance.
“He led the federal government delegations to the ancient palace of Ilorin to commiserate with us during the demise of our beloved mother, Hajia Aishat Nma Sulu-Gambari, as a sign of love and honour for the Ilorin Emirate and Kwara State at large.”
The state chairman of APC, Hon. Bashr Bolarinwa, described Kyari’s passing as a great blow to Buhari’s administration.
“He has been a pivotal and critical force in the running of the presidency. While late Abba Kyari may not have been a particularly flamboyant and popular figure with his friends and foes alike, he was, no doubt, a dutiful, hardworking and unrepentantly loyal aide to Mr. President.”
Death, a Debt We All Owe, Says Bauchi Governor
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, said he received the news with shock and sympathised with President Buhari, family and friends of the late Abba Kyari over the loss, stressing that every human being must taste death.
A statement by Lawal Muazu Bauchi, Special Assistant on New Media to the Governor, stated, “The governor, on behalf of the people and government of Bauchi State, prayed Allah to forgive the deceased’s shortcomings, grant him Aljannat Firdausi and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“We are sad to hear about the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari. May Allah SWT forgive his sins, comfort his family and grant him the highest place in Jannah. Ameen.”
Obaseki: He Stood With Buhari
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, in a statement, said Kyari’s passing was a personal loss and he would be greatly missed.
Obaseki stated, “Having associated with Abba Kyari for over two decades, I found him to be a complete gentleman, very intellectual and a true Nigerian patriot. He was a forthright man, who was resolute in his conviction and loyal to any course he believed in.
“I admire how he stood with President Muhammadu Buhari through thick and thin. I, therefore, express my personal condolences and that of Edo people to President Buhari, who we know will also miss Abba Kyari greatly.”
Zulum: It’s a Big Loss to Us
In his own way of mourning Kyari, the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Saturday mobilised internally displaced persons at different camps in Ngala local government to offer prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff.
Zulum said he received the sad news of Kyari, who hailed from Bama in the state, at Gamboru, a border town in Ngala, where he passed the night, while on humanitarian visit to supervise the distribution of food, cash and textiles to about 50,000 internally displaced persons in different camps.
On the governor’s request, the Chief Imam of Ngala town, Goni Kadiri, led a gathering of other imams and displaced persons to offer prayers of forgiveness and eternal peace for the deceased.
A statement by spokesperson to the governor, Malam Isa Gusau, said, “We have lost one of our own, Alhaji Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President. It is a big loss to us, because Borno has just lost a rock.
“I was really shocked by news of his demise. I last spoke with him exactly weeks ago and he was in good spirit. I share the grief of his immediate family, His Excellency, Mr. President, and the Presidency as well as his larger family, the people of Borno State.”
ANAP Foundation Sympathises with Buhari
The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank sympathised with the president over the death of Kyari, and extended their sympathies to his immediate family. In a statement by Atedo Peterside and Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, the group, however, stated, “We noted with sadness and concern the fact that the strict rules of social distancing were flouted at his burial today. This has serious implications for the good work that is being done by various agencies to keep our people safe. We call on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to note this and apply the laws across the board through leadership by example.
“Going forward, we appeal to the authorities to lead by example and help ensure that all and sundry obey the well thought out rules for burials and all other gatherings at this time.”
OPEC: He Was a Gallant Officer
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) described Kyari as a gallant public servant, who was fiercely loyal to the common good. A statement by OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, said, “When one was in his company, it was very clear that he was somebody, who joined public service for all the right reasons. While this is, of course, a time of profound sorrow, we also take succour from his exemplary life, his courage and his dedication to duty and love of country.
“Mallam Abba’s passing is another stark reminder of how COVID-19 has cast a terrible shadow over all of humanity. At this dreadful hour, we give thanks for your strong leadership and look to the timeless principles of cooperation and fraternity among all nations and peoples of the world to guide us through the darkest period in living memory.
“May Almighty Allah give you, Mr. President, and the people of our great country, Nigeria, the fortitude to bear this rude shock. Please, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this tragic time.”
Adesina: Buhari Lost a Friend!
The President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, described the death of Abba Kyari as a personal loss to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“For you personally, Mr. President, this is a deeply personal loss; a loss of your close confidant; a loss of your close associate; a loss of your friend. I pray that God will grant you the solitude, comfort and strength at this time, as you deal with this tragic loss.”
Ibori: Dependable and God-fearing
Former Delta State Governor James Ibori described Kyari as an unassuming man, who was loyal and dependable to a fault, in addition to being God-fearing.
In a letter personally addressed to his wife, Kulu, Ibori, who said he had hoped Kyari would survive his battle with COVID-19, said, “Those of us that knew your husband from his days in Lagos can testify to his humane nature. He was very unassuming, loyal and dependable to a fault and he remained God-fearing till the end.
“This aspect of him has been on public display; no Chief of Staff anywhere has shown as much loyalty and commitment as he showed to President Muhammadu Buhari. History will be kind to him for giving his best in directing the affairs of the nation for almost five years.”
Immortalise Kyari, TUC Urges FG
The leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) urged the federal government to immortalise the late Abba Kyari by setting up state-of-the-art hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country for the treatment of infectious diseases. The union, in a condolence letter to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, signed by its president, Comrade Quadri A. Olaleye, sympatised with Buhari, saying the country has suffered a great loss.
TUC therefore urged the government to immortalise him by setting up hospitals to “ensure the pandemic does not consume more Nigerians needlessly”.
Soludo: He Distinguished Himself
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, described Abba Kyari as a humble man, who had a distinguished career in the banking industry, among others, and died in the service of his country. In a press release by his media aide, Joe Anatune, Soludo said, “Death is a debt that all mortals must pay at God’s will and, time…We pray God to spare the lives of Nigerians from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
Fintiri: We Celebrate an Extraordinary Life
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, in a release by Press Secretary, Humwashi Wonosikou, and addressed to the president, said, “We mourn with you and celebrate the extraordinary life of this remarkable man, who devoted his life to the service of the nation.”
Fintiri said Nigeria owed a debt to Kyari’s patriotism and he must be remembered for his courage, unselfishness and devotion to duty that sustained the country through all its trials. He described Kyari as a powerful force for peace and democracy, praying Allah to reward his good deeds and forgive his imperfections.
CAN: He Sacrificed in Service to Motherland
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in a Letter of condolence to Buhari, personally signed by its president, His Eminence, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, said Kyari sacrificed his life in service to motherland.
“We are particularly sad that he contracted the virus while on duty abroad. He has, thus, sacrificed his life in the course of service to his motherland. That spoke much of his patriotic devotion to greatness of our nation.”
Describing the death as a “big blow” to the Buhari administration, CAN prayed that God will give the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss. It assured all that it would “continue to pray for the president for enhanced wisdom and patience to lead a great country like this.”
FEC: He Served Nigeria with Passion, Dedication
Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) described the late Kyari as a loyal, committed and focused public officer, who served the country with passion and dedication.
Another condolence message by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, on behalf of FEC, recalled that Kyari’s last assignment before he was diagnosed with COVID-19 was the composition of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The SGF noted that the FEC would miss his service to the nation, particularly his rich, analytical, insightful and invaluable contributions to issues. He prayed to the Almighty to grant Buhari, the nation and the Abba Kyari family the fortitude to bear the loss.
NGF: He Only Wanted Nigeria’s Progress
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday said the late Abba Kyari wanted nothing but the progress of the country. In a condolence message to Buhari, chairman of the forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said, “The late Abba Kyari steered the activities of your office with the passion and integrity of a patriot who wished nothing but progress for his country and demanded nothing but decorum, care and respect for those who sought your attention as the President.”
Fayemi said Kyari steered the affairs of his office with wisdom and foresight, stating that he forged strong ties between the president and the ministers, and strengthened the bond between the governors and the Buhari administration.
“As we condole our president and country in this trying moment, the NGF avails this opportunity to renew to you the assurance of our highest consideration,” Fayemi said.
Ortom: He Was a Trusted Aide
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said the passing of a loved one and trusted aide like Kyari could be devastating, describing his death as an inevitable end for which mankind must prepare at all times.
Ortom extended his sympathies to the Kyari family and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
Buni: He’ll be Remembered for His Commitment
The governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Mamman Mohammed, described the death of Abba Kyari as a huge loss, not just to his family and the presidency but also to the government and the nation. He said Kyari “will be remembered for his commitment to good governance, transparency, due process and patriotism.”
Bello: He Was Exemplary
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, described the late Chief of Staff as “an exemplary leader, who was dedicated to nation building”.
Bello said in the message that Kyari’s death “is, indeed, a great loss to the nation as he was dedicated to nation building and committed to national integration.” It added that he was “a simple, straightforward and loyal officer” whose “selfless service will be greatly missed in the presidency”
Sule: We’ve Lost a Patriot!
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State said with the death of Kyari, the politics of Nigeria had lost a man, who was a powerful force for patriotism, discipline, peace, unity and national service.
“Abba Kyari’s commitment to the highest standards of national service, loyalty and love for Nigeria stands as an example to all of us, particularly, those who are politicians, to be bridge builders and torch bearers of hope,” Sule said.
He added, “Kyari understood the deep connection between local politics and national problems, and he helped Mr. President in no small measure to give Nigeria a respected place of identity and dignity among the comity of nations.”
Ndume: I’ll Miss His Counsel
Former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, while submitting wholly to the Will of Allah, described Kyari’s death as shocking, adding that his wise counsel will be missed during the nation’s trying times. He added that his loss while in active service was a national tragedy, even as his innumerable contribution to nation building will always be remembered.
Uzodinma: He Devoted His Energy to Work
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, in a statement by his media aide, Oguwike Nwachuku, described Kyari as a pan-Nigerian, who devoted his energy and time to the service of his country. He condoled with President Buhari, Nigerians and the government and people of Borno State on the unfortunate death of Kyari.
Oyetola: He Served Nigeria Diligently
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, described Kyari’s death as a great loss to the president, his family and the entire nation.
“The late Mallam Abba Kyari was a loyal and dedicated Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and served the nation diligently in that capacity. His death is a great loss to Mr. President, his family and the entire nation,” the statement said.
He Served with Dignity, Honesty, Says Northern Governors
The Northern Governors Forum described Abba Kyari as a deeply resourceful person, who provided tremendous support to Buhari and his administration, and served Nigeria with patriotism, dignity, honesty and passion. Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the forum, Simon Lalong, in a condolence message by his Director of Press, Simon Macham, sympathised with his immediate family, the president and the entire nation for what he described as a monumental loss.
Obi: Take Heart, President Buhari
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Peter Obi, condoled with Buhari over the death of Kyari and urged him to take heart. In a condolence message, Obi particularly sympathised with Buhari and the family of the deceased and urged them to take their loss as the will of God, though painful.
Wike: It’s a National Loss!
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike said the death of Abba Kyari was a great loss, not only to Buhari but also the entire nation. Wike described him as a patriot, trustworthy, humble and caring leader, who contributed immensely to the development of the country.
Kano Sacks Commissioner for Speaking Ill about Kyari
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, relieved the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Muazu Magaji, of his appointment with immediate effect for derogatorily celebrating Kyari’s death. Magaji had taken to his Facebook account on Saturday at the break of the news of Kyari’s death saying, “Nigeria is free and Abba Kyari has died of the deadly Coronavirus ‘the pandemic’…a death of Martyrdom if he (Abba Kyari) died with faith.”
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mallam Muhammad Garba, said the commissioner was removed following his unguarded utterances against the person of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari. Garba said as a public servant, the commissioner ought to have respected the oath of the office by refraining from acts capable of sending the office into disrepute.
The statement said the late Kyari had led a life worthy of emulation by serving his country to the best of his ability.
COVID 19: FCTA to Isolate Kyari Body Handlers for ‘Unprofessional Conduct’ at Gudu Cemetery
The Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCT Administration has said that undertakers, who participated in the burial of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari at the Gudu Cemetery, Abuja on Sunday, have been identified and are being isolated.
The Acting Secretary Health and Human Services Secretariat FCTA, Dr Mohammed Kawu, made this disclosure in a statement on Saturday night.
The clarification followed the glaring breaches and non compliance with several guidelines of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on burial of COVID-19 victim and a trending video on social media, showing one of the body handers, pulling off his Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a manner that was unprofessional after the burial.
In the statement, Kawu said the Public Health Department had since taken the necessary action.
He said the PPE left over by the individual had been professionally evacuated and the entire cemetery decontaminated.
“In addition, all the individuals including the man in question that participated in the burial and were not properly kitted have been identified and are being isolated.
“Necessary tests will conducted on all of them to determine their level of exposure and ensure that they do not infect other people,” Kawu said.
He added that FCTA has also taken steps to ensure that all future burials of victims of COVID 19 are conducted in line with protocols established by the NCDC.
He urged FCT residents to remain calm and rest assured saying the FCT Administration will continue to do all that is necessary to curtail and eventually end the spread of the coronavirus in the territory.