• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Buhari mourns Kyari, calls him “the very best of us”


President Muhammadu Buhari in an impassioned eulogy has said his late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was a loyal friend and compatriot of 42 years who never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of Nigerians.

“Mallam Abba Kyari was the very best of us. He was made of the stuff that makes Nigeria great,” said President Buhari on his official Twitter handle late Saturday, describing the former as his dearest friend and a patriot.

Kyari died on Friday, April 17, 2020, due to complications from the novel coronavirus he contracted while on an official assignment to Germany. President Buhari said Kyari was 67 years of age, contradicting news reports that said the late chief of staff was in his 80s. Buhari said he met him when Kyari was in his twenties.

Read Also: Kyari pledges more transparency and accountability at NNPC

President Buhari said Kyari, who studied Warwick and then at the University of Cambridge, possessed 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,” President Buhari said.

Late Kyari was described as never seeking an elective office for himself, rather, setting 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.

“Becoming my Chief of Staff in 2015, he strove quietly and without any interest in publicity or personal gain to implement my agenda,” said President Buhari.

The President said late Kyari worked, without fail, seven days each and every week, acting 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,” said President Buhari.

Earlier in the day, First Lady Aisha Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo joined many in expressing their sadness over Kyari’s death.