Condolences and tributes have continued to pour for Abba Kyari, the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was announced dead early Saturday after battling coronavirus complications.
Mr Kyari, who had an underlying medical condition, was first tested positive for the virus on March 23 and subsequently moved to a private medical facility in Lagos for treatment.
His corpse arrived Abuja Saturday morning from Lagos. Mr Kyari was interred at exactly 11:20 a.m. at the military cemetery in Abuja’s Gudu neighbourhood amidst tears from family members and supporters.
Former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; former deputy Senate President; Ike Ekweremadu; and Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, were amongst the top political figures who had sent out their condolences as of the time of filing this report.
Religious and traditional leaders, including, the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi have also extolled the virtues of Mr Kyari, who contracted the fatal virus while on a national assignment in Germany for Nigeria’s power infrastructure.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Nigerians reacted to the demise of Mr Kyari on different social media platforms.
Former president Obasanjo in a letter to the Nigerian government said, “I received the news of the demise of Alhaji Abba Kyari, your Chief of Staff, over Friday night, with great sadness, as he lost the battle against the dreadful killer disease, COVID-19“.
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“Abba Kyari’s death must be painful to you and to his family and friends, but you can all take solace in the fact that he died in harness, in the service of his country,” Mr Obasanjo further stated in the letter.
Mr Jonathan described his death as a great loss to the federal government and condoled with President Buhari in a short message via his official twitter handle.
He wrote: “I condole with His Excellency, President Buhari, the Kyari family and all sympathisers on the demise of Mallam Abba Kyari who until his death was the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria. May Allah grant him Al Jannah Firdaus & strengthen his family & friends during this moment of grief.”
Also on his twitter handle, Mr Abubakar, who was the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate and Mr Buhari’s main challenger in 2019 wrote, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. I am saddened by the death of Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. “May Allah SWT comfort his family, forgive his sins and grant him AlJannah Firdaus. Ameen”.
In a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President described the late Kyari as a very competent, dedicated and loyal aide, who was a pillar in his administration.
“He was a man of deep convictions and courage who understood his role and performed it with uncommon dedication and effectiveness.
“He shared the values of President Buhari and his passion for the emancipation of the poor in Nigeria and the all-round development of the country for the benefit of all its people,” he said.
Mr Lawan expressed his heartfelt condolence to Mr Kyari’s family, the president and the Government and people of Borno State over the great loss.
Also, Mr Omo-Agege, the deputy Senate President described the passing of the late officials as a rude shock.
“Nigerians must pray for President Muhammadu Buhari for divine help in charting the way forward”, he wrote on his handle.”
The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi said the passing of Mr Kyari is an unfortunate surprise, describing the deceased as a “coolheaded fine gentleman and great respecter of traditional institutions who had until his death handled his position as a public servant with dignity and dedication arising from his fervent belief in and his incorruptible patriotism to the Nigerian project”.
Mr Ekweremadu also expressed sadness over Mr Kyari’s demise.
In a statement by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, he said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari.
“It is a heavy loss to the Presidency and the nation, which he gave his all.”
The Borno governor, Babagana Zulum, has also expressed sadness over Mr Kyari’s death.
This was contained in a statement issued by Isa Gusau.
“We have lost one of our own, Alhaji Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the President, ” Governor Zulum said in the statement.
“It is a big loss for us because Borno has just lost a rock. I was really shocked by the news of his demise. I last spoke with him exactly weeks ago and he was in good spirit.
“I share the grief of his immediate family, His Excellency, Mr President, and the Presidency as well as his larger family, the people of Borno.”
Meanwhile, the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has also expressed sadness over the development.
Mr Bello in his condolence letter to the President, sympathised with him, the presidency and the people of Borno State over the sad loss.
“On behalf of my family, the Government and the good people of Kogi State, I commiserate with Your Excellency, the entire presidency and the people of Borno State over the loss. Please, accept my deepest condolences on your bereavement.
“Mallam Kyari lived a good life of honesty, commitment to nation-building and service to God and humanity.
“He undoubtedly had been a pillar of support to you in your enviable and exemplary journey since your assumption of office in 2015 as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“His wise counsel to you in the course of your selfless service to the people of Nigeria will not be forgotten easily.”
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