John Shiklam in Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Alhaji Mamman Daura has said that the services of late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and Samaila Isa Funtua to the present administration in the past five years were immeasurable.
Kyari died on April 17 following complications from COVID-19 while Funtua died of cardiac arrest on July 20.
In an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) yesterday, Daura said he was upset with the death of both men.
Daura, Kyari and Funtua, were alleged to be members of the power cabal, a group of influential people in the Buhari administration.
He said Kyari and Funtua were his close associates of over 40 years.
Daura recalled that Kyari worked under him when he was the editor and managing director of the New Nigerian Newspaper, Kaduna, while he and Funtua, established the Funtua Textile Mills in Funtua, Katsina state.
He added that the textile mills have outlived other textile companies across the length and breadth of the country.
“Truly, the death of Kyari and Funtua was very disturbing. These two great personalities, aside from being my friends, were my close associates.
“They did a lot for the government since they came in. Malam Funtua was by the side while Abba Kyari in the centre, how they worked for this government was beyond our thought. May Almighty Allah have mercy on them.”
Speaking further, he said his closeness with Kyari and Funtua was as a result of a long-term relationship.
According to him, after leaving New Nigerian, and retiring as managing director, he became the Director of United Nigeria Textile Limited (UNTL).
“It is 40 years now, he was the personnel manager there. That was when we worked together and became intimate. Together, we established Funtua Textiles, close to Mairua Dam.
“All textile mills that were established at that time have all closed down. The ones in Lagos. Kaduna and Kano, at one point or the other, have stopped production but Funtua Textiles has been in operations in the last 40 years.”