- President Muhammadu Buhari has for the first time reacted to the death of Mallam Abba Kyari
- Until his death, Kyari was Buhari's closest confidant and chief of staff
- President Buhari paid glowing tribute to Kyari, describing him as “the very best of us”
President Muhammadu Buhari has paid glowing tribute to his former chief of staff, Late Abba Kyari.
Kyari died on Friday, April 17 due to complications from coronavirus and was buried in Abuja on Saturday, April 18.
President Buhari in a statement on Saturday, April 18 described the Late Kyari as his loyal friend and compatriot for the last 42 years.
The president said in all the years he has known Kyari, “he never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of every one of us.”
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Buhari wrote: “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.”
He stated that Kyari, after assuming office in 2015, “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,” President Buhari noted.
He acknowledged the input of Kyari in his office, stressing that he worked 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,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the lnter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) says it is deeply pained over the demise of the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari.
A statement by IPAC's national chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa, says the council is heartbroken over the death of Kyari.
“The death of Abba Kyari has driven the danger of this disease. It is a wake-up call for all Nigerians to rise up to fight the pandemic and obey government directives to contain its spread,” the council said.
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