By Omololu Ogunmade
The United States government Friday described the late Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, as a dedicated public servant who played key roles in the repatriation of over $300 million funds stolen by former Head of State, Sani Abacha.
Making these remarks in a condolence message to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, described the late Kyari as a respected interlocutor for the American government during the repatriation process.
A statement by the presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, quoted Nagy as describing Kyari as a valued and respected interlocutor for the US during the process.
He also quoted him as saying the team appreciated working with the late chief of staff, disclosing that he came up with different infrastructure projects and parts of the country the funds would go to.
‘‘Kyari was a valued and respected interlocutor for the U.S. government and particularly for our leadership team in Abuja.
‘‘We appreciate working with him on many important matters, including the return to the Nigerian people of over $300 million in funds stolen by Sani Abacha.
‘‘He envisioned the funds going to three geographically disparate infrastructure projects as a way to unite Nigeria economically,’’ Nagy said.
Furthermore, the statement said the US Assistant Secretary noted that such vision by Kyari underscored his projection of a solid and prosperous future for Nigeria.
‘‘His dedication to this matter, to fighting corruption, and to countless other investments and policies for the future of Nigeria will leave a lasting impact on your country,’’ Nagy was further quoted.
Describing him as President Donald Trump’s lead diplomat for Africa, Shehu added that Nagy commiserated with the government and people of Nigeria and the Kyari family on the loss.
He also said Nagy pledged the US government’s resolve to stand with Nigeria in the struggle against the coronavirus pandemic.