The Presidency and the entire nation of Nigeria are thrown into a state of mourning as they lose one of their highest-ranking officials to the COVID-19 virus. Abba Kyari, who was till the day of his death, the trusted chief of staff and right-hand man to the president of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, died from complications arising from the COVID-19 virus.
Kyari, who was one of the three most powerful men in both Nigeria and Africa’s economy, had been fighting with the virus for almost a month. Ababa was known to have had the complete trust of Buhari and was always with him on any journey the president was to go on.
Kyari has also been described as a de facto head of the government because Nigeria has been known to be a country that has a presidency that holds an inordinate amount of centralized power as well as government funds.
It has been rumored that Kyari was the one who determines who gets to see the president no matter the circumstances and that state governors and government ministers have understood and learned to work under such protocols before getting to meet with the president.
Bashir Ahmed, on his Twitter handle, described Kyari’s death as entirely out of this world. In his words, “Completely out of any word, so devastating. It is indeed very hard on us, but I strongly believe that we all belong to Allah, and to Him, we shall return. May Allah accept Mallam Abba Kyari’s shahada, forgive all his shortcomings, and grant him Jannatul Firdausi. #RIPAbbaKyari”
Although Abba Kyari had a huge political role before his death, he preferred to maintain a low profile. There are only a handful of official public photographs of him, and even his official age is not readily available in the public records; hence he was said to be in his late 60s or almost 70 years before his death.
Kyari was considered to be an intellectual person by those who met with him. He was said to have attended Cambridge and Warwick Universities, both in the United Kingdom. Abba Kyari was said to have contracted the COVID-19 virus in March when he was on an official trip to Germany.
On March 23rd, health officials confirmed that he tested positive for the virus, although the news wasn’t revealed till March 30th. At that time, Abba was in high spirits and was hopeful about his recovery. However, there had been reports that Abba Kyari had underlying health conditions, which may put him at a higher risk.
Abba Kyari’s death is a significant loss and a big blow to the Presidency, especially President Buhari. His passing leaves a major gap in the Buhari’s administration as she struggles with responding to Corona Virus(which by the records of the IMF will most likely crumble her economy into its worst recession ever experienced in 30years) and combating her state of multiple security challenges which includes the widely known devastating Boko Haram Insurgency that seems to be overstretching the Military.
Kyari’s death will most likely force President Buhari to quickly juggle his kitchen cabinet and make some temporary adjustments; however, this reality may not be seen soon as the president is known for slow responses and slow-paced decision making.
Abba Kyari’s death is so far, the highest-profile case that has been caused by the COVID-19 virus that has been recorded in Nigeria and apparently Africa as a whole.
As Nigeria still battles the Corona Virus, she still holds a low number of confirmed cases with 493 and 17 deaths (and counting) when compared to her more than 200 million population. Although there have been significant concerns about the lack of an adequate proper testing system, Nigeria may have more cases of Corona Virus on her hands to deal with.
Nigeria loses chief of Staff; qz.com