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Profile of Late Abba Kyari, Buhari’s beloved Chief of Staff

NEWSMAN, Abuja – In this report, we take a look at the profile of Abba Kyari, the beloved Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and most influential aide in the current administration who died on Friday.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina early Saturday said the top presidential aide died in Lagos after earlier testing positive to the ravaging Coronavirus.

“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” Adesina said.

Profile of Late Abba Kyari

Abba Kyari who had the national honours title of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON),  was a Nigerian politician who served as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Early life and education

A Kanuri from Borno, not much is known about his early life. In 1980, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick, and also received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. In 1983, he was called to the Nigerian Bar after attending the Nigerian Law School.

In 1984, he obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.

Family

Kyari was married to the sister-in-law of Ibrahim Tahir, and had four children.

Health

On March 24, 2020, it was made public that Kyari tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23, following an official trip to Germany nine days before.

Professional career

Kyari worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo for some time after his return to Nigeria.

From 1988 to 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited, Kaduna.

In 1990, he served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno State.

From 1990 to 1995, Kyari was the secretary to the board of African International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Kyari was an executive director in charge of management services at the United Bank for Africa, and was later appointed the chief executive officer.

In 2002, he was appointed a board director of Unilever Nigeria, and later served on the board of Exxon Mobil Nigeria.

Political career

In August 2015, Kyari was appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Power and politics

Kyari was an influential figure within the Buhari administration. During the administration’s first term, he worked mainly behind the scenes to implement the president’s agenda. In 2019 with Buhari’s re-election for a second term, he ordered his cabinet to channel all requests through Kyari’s office. Further enhancing his influence within government circles, and being labelled as the de facto head of government.

In 2017, following a leaked memo, Kyari became embroiled in a public argument with the Head of Civil Service, who was later removed from office and arrested. In 2020, in another leaked memo, Babagana Monguno the National Security Adviser accused Kyari of meddling in matters of national security.

Death

Kyari died in a Lagos hospital on 17 April 2020, he died from complications related to COVID-19, his Wikipedia entry said on Saturday.

Late Abba Kyari with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. File photo.
Late Abba Kyari with President Muhammadu Buhari in a tete-a-tete at an APC event. File photo.

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