By Elizabeth Chukwuma
The death of Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari from the dreaded Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged Coronavirus appeared to have brought all the gladiators in the ruling All progressive Congress, APC and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, political gladiators together.
In apparent reaction to the death of the former Chief of Staff, who was larger than life because of his perceived role in the Presidency that earned him the accolade as the ’’Head of the Cabal’’, Olusegun Obasanjo , a former President and an elder Statesman had asked the Katsina state born Nigerian President to ‘’take solace in the fact that he died in the service of the country’’.
He had led a Nigerian delegation to Germany , one of the COVID 19 infested European countries to hold discussions with officials of Siemens at the instance of the President over the implementation of the country roadmap on power modernization which had been phased into three aimed at ensuring stable power supply as obtained in Germany , South Africa and other parts of the world.
The Kyari led delegation that had travelled to the Angela Merkel, home country at a time the World Health Organisation , WHO, had advised member nations to maintain their social distance and avoid mass gatherings to defeat the disease, according to energy experts was necessary to strengthen out things.
Going by the agreement, the first phase of the power supply programme was for the Germany Company to facilitate power generation in the country to reach at least five megawatts, followed by the generation of seven mega watts and then 11 megawatts by 2023. This may have informed why Obasanjo said he died for the service of his father land and have no option but to condole his erstwhile sworn enemy, Buhari over the painful death.
The former President may have spoken his mind when he told the President in his Condolence letter”: Abba kyari’s death must be painful to you. He may have hit the nail on the head because Kyari , means many things to the him and was a match to those who are opposed to him both within and out outside the APC.
He noted that the death must be a ‘’solemn reminder to all Nigerians that COVID 19 requires all hands to be on deck, soberly, cooperatively, humanely, justly, equitably, fairly, consolidatedly and comprehensively’’ to be able to fight the disease successfully and get the country back to normalcy Already the Private sector Coalition made up of Aliko Dangote, President Dangote Group of Companies, Tony Elumelu, founder Tony Elumelu Foundation and Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa, plc, Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank and several other billionaires in the country have raised N25 billion to support the government efforts in the fight against the disease which had infected 543 patients as at Sunday, April 19, 2020.
Godluck Jonathan, the immediate past President was said to have also condoled Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff. AAtiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the PDP, in the 2019, Presidential election, said ‘’he was saddened by the news of the death of the Borno state born politician and former Chief of Staff .
He had prayed that ’’God should forgive him his sins and grant him eternal peace’’. Ahmad Lawan, Senate President and Buhari political ally, was said to have asked God to ’’forgive him his shortcomings’’.
The three political big wigs would have preferred to pay a condolence visit to the President and his family at the Presidential Villa but could not do so. This is because of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, and ministry of Health protocol on burial of Coronavirus victims.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC, Director General , may have known that friends and political Associates of the late Chief of Staff might want to take advantage of his burial ceremony at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to pay a Condolence visit to the family and the Presidency that he had reiterated the need for Nigerians ’ to refrain from attending mass gatherings to prevent the further spread of the COVID 19’’.
It is not surprising why Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity had reminded sympathizers that the Presidency may not be willing to receive condolence visits to the late Chief of Staff family. He was very emphatic that the decision was in strict observations of the NCDC and ministry of Health protocol for burial of Conavirus victims.
Note that Obasanjo, Jonathan, Atiku and lawan, the Senate President could have loved to be at the Villa to see the President and have a word with him over the death of his close friend and political ally but to shelve it.
Political Observers, however, believe that even without the NCDC and the ministry of Health protocol, the President could not have been in the mood to receive the political heavy weights at the Villa because of the shock over the death of the former Chief Staff, described in political circles as a very ’ loyal political appointee who believes in his boss’’.
Buhari confirmed the general opinion about their close relationship when he broke his silence on Saturday, April 18, 2020. ‘’Abba Kyari was not secretive as alleged but he simply had no need or did not seek, the cheap gratification of the crowd’’, he had said. Describing the late former Chief of Staff as a loyal friend compatriot for the last 42 years, he disclosed that he ‘’never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of everyone one of us’’.
The President may have given reason why he had a good working relationship with Kyari while alive.’’Working, without fail, seven days each and every week’’, stressing that he ’’acted forcefully as a crucial gatekeeper to the Presidency, ensuring that no one , whether minister or governor had access beyond another and that all those representing and serving the country are treated equally’’, he had said.
He has set an agenda for the next polititical appointee that would occupy the office of the Chief of Staff in the Presidency to endeavour to have the stuff of Late Kyari , aimed at improving governance and making Nigeria great. ‘’Rest in Peace, my dearest friend’’, he had concluded his epithet on Kyari.
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