Abba Kyari, former governor of North Central State, dies at 80

Borno elder statesman and former military governor of North Central State, Abba Kyari.
Borno elder statesman and former military governor of North Central State, Abba Kyari.

Borno elder statesman and former military governor of North Central State, Abba Kyari, has passed on.

Mr Kyari, retired brigadier general, died on Sunday in Abuja after a brief illness.

He was 80.

His eldest son, Abubakar Kyari, current senator, confirmed the death of the respected Borno elder to PREMIUM TIMES.

He said his father would be buried in Maiduguri at about 4pm Monday (today).

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his condoled the family of the late military governor and goverments of the states he served.

In a message to the the government and people of Kaduna, Katsina and Borno states on Sunday evening, President Buhari said, “We are extremely saddened by the news of General Abba Kyari’s passing away, an officer and a gentleman for whom we have a lot respect.”

He prayed Allah to accept his soul, and grant fortitude to the family and friends he left behind to bear the loss.

According to Wikipedia, Mr Kyari was born in 1938.

He attended Borno Middle School and Barewa College, Zaria.

In 1959 he enlisted in the Nigerian Army as an Officer Cadet. He attended the 12th Regular Officers’ Training School, Teshia, Ghana (March 1959 – September 1959) and then the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England (October 1959 – March 1960).

He held various appointments in the army, including Platoon Commander and then Transport Offices in the 1 Brigade Transport Company, Second-in-Command and then Commander in the Nigerian Army Artillery, commander of 1 Brigade, Kaduna and Commanding Officer 5th Battalion, Nigerian Army, Kano.

During the outbreak of violence against the Igbo people in Northern and Central Nigeria in 1966, Mr Kyari assisted soldiers from the South escaping from Kaduna.

When Yakubu Gowon became the military head of state, he appointed Mr Kyari (then a Colonel) as Governor of North-Central State in July 1967.

As governor, he commissioned a master plan for the Kaduna metropolis, but in practice the plan was not followed by his successors.

Towards the end of the Gowon administration, Mr. Kyari was remembered as a cautious advocate of return to civilian rule.

Me. Kyari led the Northern delegates to the 1994 National Constitutional Conference, and was appointed Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the conference.

At retirement he was appointed to the boards of directors of First Bank of Nigeria, Standard Alliance Insurance and Merchant Bank of Commerce.

He became Chairman of Gamah Flour Mills and of Alif Engineering and Construction before he finally retired to a quiet, crisis-free life along his Polo road GRA residence in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

He is survived by nine children, among whom is Abubakar Kyari the current Senator representing Borno North Senatorial district.

He is also known to have many adopted children as well as grand and great grandchildren.

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