- The comptroller general of customs, Hammed Ali has described the late Abba Kyari as a controversial man
- Ali also said the president's past chief of staff was highly misunderstood by many
- The remarks were made by Ali during a book launch in Abuja in the memory of the late Abba Kyari
Dignitaries from all works of life converged in Abuja to extol the virtues of the late Abba Kyari, the past chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The dignitaries who converged months after Kyari's demise were present at the public presentation of a book titled: 'The Man Abba Kyari', authored by David Onmeje, the group managing director of Nigerian News.
At the book presentation attended by Legit.ng reporter, the comptroller general of Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali, described late Kyari as a controversial but highly misunderstood man.
Ali said Kyari was misunderstood by many because of his integrity and insistence on the norm.
“Anyone that undertakes the challenge of passing through the road of credibility, honesty, and integrity will end up being the most controversial and misunderstood person, and that is what Mallam Abba Kyari was."
"He passed through that path. And in the course of doing so, you would agree that one would roughen some edges. That was happening in the course of his life as a private citizen.
The CG of customs said the chances were that Kyari had a lot of controversies and enemies.
"Mallam Abba, whom I knew closely for 22 years, was someone who does not hold back his views. He was ready to take up a fight when you decide to deviate from the norms. He doesn't take 'No' for an answer."
"The issue with regards to the controversy is normal, some of us are into it and will continue to be in it. Some of us are being hated, but we would continue to do what we believe in. That was exactly what Abba did until his death."
However, addressing the participants, the governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, said the late Kyari was not as controversial as perceived.
Zulum who was represented by his chief of staff, Professor Isah Hussein, said Kyari was a typical technocrat.
According to him, Kyari excelled in all the disciplines or organisations he found himself in and was a people's person.
“Abba Kyari, some have said, was a controversial person. He was not. He was just doing his job. To be a chief-of-staff you must have certain qualities. Abba had all of those. One of them is dedicated to his job. But most importantly, is loyalty to your boss, and it must be total.
"People tried to get to Mr President or had their own agenda found that Abba Kyari was always there. They could not bend him. That's why a lot of people say he was controversial. He was just doing his job.”
Reviewing the book, Professor Udenta Udenta, said the book portrayed Kyari's character and its contradictory assessment by the people.
The author of the book, Onmeje described the late chief of staff as a patriot and committed public servant who was widely respected for his loyalty and commitment to the goals and aspirations of President Buhari.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the former president's chief of staff died from complications of coronavirus disease on Friday, April 17.
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The late Kyari tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19 and received treatment at an undisclosed facility before his passing.
Since his passing Isa Funtua, another close ally of President Buhari had died.
Funtua was not only President Buhari's close friend but a great inlaw to the president. He died on Monday, July 20.
Abba Kyari: Buhari’s chief of staff dies from coronavirus, Nigerians react | Legit TV