Nigerians mourn as Covid-19 claims biggest victim, Abba Kyari
Posted by News Express | 18 April 2020 | 3,912 times
•Late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari
As an avalanche of tributes poured in on social media, especially Twitter, for Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. He died of complications from coronavirus at a Lagos hospital.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, confirmed the sad news on Saturday morning in a tweet: “Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, passes on. May God rest his soul. Amen. Funeral arrangements to be announced soon.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also confirmed the death in a terse chat posted on his Twitter handle.
He said: “Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020. May God accept his soul. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.”
Minutes after, Minister of state, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo took to his Twitter page to recount his last moments with the deceased.
He wrote: “When I chatted with him exactly on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, he assured me his health was fine and that he would faithfully take the treatments. But God always knows best. Sincere condolences to the Kyari family and the Government of Nigeria. Adieu Mallam Abba Kyari.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy also expressed sadness at the death.
He wrote: “May the Almighty Allah forgive and be Merciful to Malam Abba Kyari (Chief of Staff to the President). May He (SWT) bless us with a good end.”
It was made public that Kyari tested positive for COVID-19 late last month, following an official trip to Germany nine days before. It was also reported that Kyari had underlying medical conditions. He later rejected these claims, and announced his movement from Abuja to Lagos for further treatment.
While in office, 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. He also did same during the President’s second term until his death yesterday.