Abba Kyari: How powerful late COS prevented major crisis in Nigerian football

Abba Kyari: How powerful late COS prevented major crisis in Nigerian football

- Abba Kyari took his time to settle disputes in Nigerian sporting circle

- The late lawyer once assisted the Super Falcons to receive their wages

- Kyari reportedly died on April 17 from coronavirus' related complications

The late Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari who was also a lover of sports reportedly succumbed to the dreaded coronavirus on Friday, April 17, according to top officials in the Nigerian presidency.

In December 2016, the Super Falcons stormed the entrance of the National Assembly to protest their unpaid wages after successfully bringing home the AWCON title from Cameroon.

Kyari wades in

The protest was so serious that the girls who reached the scene at about 8am on December 14 had vowed to disrupt the day’s plenary session - it was not until the arrival of Abba Kyari that the situation was brought under control.

He assured the girls that the Nigerian government was aware and that the girls would receive ‘alerts’ in less than two days.

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“You girls will be paid in two days’ time,” he assured.

Two years later, Kyari again took time-out to receive the Super Falcons at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport upon arrival from Ghana.

Nigeria had just won a record 11th AWCON title after defeating Bayana Bayana of South Africa 4-3 via penalties. The match ended 0-0 at regulation time.

The COS warmly welcomed the players and then joined in the bus that took them to the city

How he contracted coronavirus

The 80-year-old had on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 tested positive for the infection not long after he returned from Germany with a delegation of other Nigerian officials for meetings with Siemens AG.

It was however not clear if the Borno state born lawyer was isolated upon his arrival from the European country which had been massively hit by the pandemic as early as February.

The late Kyari was referred to as one of the most powerful men in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, while many believe he calls the shots.

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His last assignment

His meeting with Siemens AG in Germany was said to be in furtherance of the deal recently signed by the president and the energy company on improving electricity supply in Nigeria

The late COS was at the meeting alongside Minister of Power Saleh Mamman who confirmed that power supply will be improved in Nigeria after deliberations at the meeting is executed.

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Mamman tweeted: “The Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari and I are in Munich right now meeting with executive members of Siemens to discuss issues relating to the Nigerian power sector. The Nigerian Ambassador to Germany Yusuf Tuggar has joined us for this meeting.

“It will be recalled that the Nigerian government recently signed a six-year deal with the German company, which will result in the effective generation, transmission and distribution of at least 25,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2025,” Mamman said.

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Here was Kyari’s last (major) official assignment before he fell ill from complications before he was tested for the dreaded infection.

However, earlier reported that John Mikel Obi has made his contributions to support the less privilege Nigerians survive during the lockdown amid COVID-19 crisis.

The former Super Legend captain who recently ended his contract with Turkish club Trabzonspor, distributed 1,800 crates of eggs to some communities in the country.

Mikel also urged Nigerians to be of help to one another during the challenging period with his post on Instagram handle.

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Babajide Orevba Babajide Orevba is a digital publishing expert, an avid sports content thinker, researcher and writer. He is a graduate of Guidance and Counselling, having bagged his B.SC (ED) from the Ekiti State University. He can be reached on Twitter @JideOrevba

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