For weeks, Abba kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, described as the most powerful person and the head of the Cabal in the Presidency, had been battling to save his life from the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of China emerged Coronavirus disease, which had spread to over 210 countries in the world including Nigeria. He died on Friday, April 17, 2020 and has been buried, according to Muslim irtes.
Kyari was said to have contacted the deadly disease in Germany , where he was said to have led a government delegation that met with the officials of Siemens , a company that had a working agreement with the government to implement the country roadmap on modernisation of power supply which was split into phases. He was said to have lodged in a hotel a in or to keep appoint with his Doctor
. He had returned to the country on March 24, 2020.Unknown to him, he had contacted the dreaded disease which eventually claimed his life. The tacit Statement issued by Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, the two Special senior Assistants to the President on Media and Publicity in their official Tweet, on same Friday, speak volume : The Presidency regret to announce the death of Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President . The announcement gives an insight to the mindset of the President over the death of the death of his personal friend and Chief of Staff. ‘’He weeps’’, a presidency source said.
Signs that Kyari would not survive it emerged when he had tested positive for the COVID 19, after his return from the Germany official trip. The infection of the late former Chief Of Staff, with the disease may have informed why the President ordered the lockdown of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, described as the epicenter of the COVID 19 and Ogun state, because of its proximity to Lagos to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
Given the nature of the disease, the late former Chief of Staff was hoping to be transferred to Lagos Isolation center, where the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, has the facilities and the medical equipment for the Treatment of the sickness in order to return to work.
He had told close associates that he never exhibited any symptoms of the disease, which gave him the false impression that he was Coronavirus free and therefore reluctant to take the treatment serious . He got it wrong. Death was knocking his door. Prior to the COVID 19, infection , he was said to be suffering from Diabetes and other undisclosed ailments. The disclosure that he had Coronavirus after tehe test may have triggered a great shock in him that he lost hope of surviving it. He was in his his 70s, which may not have helped matters.
Events had moved fast when it became clear that he may not survive the pandemic as Aisha Buhari, the First Lady, was said to have replaced some of the key staff in his office. Many believe that the death of the former Chief of Staff to the President was a big blow to the President because of their close working relationship that he was described in political circles as the ‘’defacto Vice President’’. This is because of the enormous powers he wields in the Presidency that he could take certain decisions without the President’s approval.
Until his death last Friday, he was said to have stepped on toes in the course of the discharge of his official duties including the First Lady who cried out. Not many people may have known about the power play in the Presidency until he tried to interfere in the office of Babagana Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser, NSA, to the President, by giving orders to the service Chiefs.
The Service Chiefs he was currying their favour include Gabariel Olonisakin, an Army Geneeral and Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, Tukur Burantai, a Lt. General and Chief Army Staff, CAS, aAbubakar Sadiq, a Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, CAS and Ibok Ekwe-Iba, a Vice Admiral and Chef of Naval Staff, CNS. The NSA, did not find it funny over Kyari’s interference on matters bordering on National security. In anger, the NSA, was said to have issued a warning memo to all them to desist from taking orders from him.
The conflict of interest between the duo was so pronounced that the NSA, blamed the late former Chief of Staff for the government’s failure to contain insecurity in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno aand Yobe in the recent time.
He may have exposed the power struggle in the Presidency when he said that ‘’the late former Chief of Staff sometimes issues directives to the Service Chiefs who reports to his office in his capacity as the NSA, without the knowledge and approval of the President’’.
He noted that the late former Chief of Staff to the President had at different times presided over meetings with the Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Organisations, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, without his presence or the ministers of Dense which was a violation of the Constitution and directly, undermines the Authority of Mr. President.
The situation was so worrisome that Major Mustapha Jokolo,rtd, a one- time ADC, equivalent of Chief of Staff, to Buhari, as a military Head of State in the ‘80s, and who, incidentally was a former Emir of Gwandu, Kebbi state, was forced to reach out to the President to sack the NSA , Kyari and the Service Chiefs, stressing that it was wrong to turn the Borno state born late former Chief of Staff as the country’s Vice President. But that was how far he could go.
Many believe that with the death of the former Chief Staff, the NSA, and the ministers who had been experiencing difficulty seeing the President in the villa to discuss official matters because of the overbearing influence of the all powerful Kyari, who has the ears of the President could heave a sigh of relief.
A security source who spoke to The Value News disclosed that the death of Kyari has created a big vacuum in the Presidency as there may not be any other Chief Staff that would be like the Borno state born Politician to the President . This is because of their close working relationship which spans over four decades and their understanding of each other.
. It was therefore not surprising why every Complaints made against him by those opposed to him and calls for his removal from several quarters was ignored by the President. Apointed by Buhari as the Chief of Staff in his first term in office in 2015, he had held the position until April 17, 2020, when he lost out to the strop grip of the China born Coronavirus.
The late former Chief of Staff may not have been the only top government official that had contacted the disease and recovered from it. One of them was Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi state. Another victim was Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state. Nasir el0Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, tweeted that he also contacted the sickness but had recovered from it. In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister contacted it and was taken to an intensive health care unit where he spent days and later discharged.
As at Saturday, April 18, 2020, no fewer than 493 Nigerians , according to the NCDC, had contacted the disease . The victims may have been identified from the 5000 Nigerians who were said to have presented themselves to be Tested in different centers across the country.
Worried by the impact of the disease on the economy, the Private sector Coalition against the disease lead by Alik Dangote, President Dangote Group of Companies, according Issac Okorafor, Central Bank Of Nigerian CBN, Spokes person has made a total donations of about N26 billion to the government established COVID 19 fund to Contain the spread of the disease in the country.
The World Health Organisation ,WHO, which keep countries update on the COVID 19, had reported on Saturday, April 18, 2020, that there had been 2,258,945 COVID 19 cases across the world , 154,390 deaths while 575,953, had recovered, leaving 1,528.602, currently infected patients .
The most hard hit countries in the African Continent are Egypt, 2844, South Africa,2,783, Morocco, Algeria, 2418 2,564, Camerron, 1017, Tunisia 864, Ivory Coast, 688, Ghana, 641, Niger 627 and Burkina Faso, 557, cases. was said to have accounted for more than 1000 of the dead Coronavirus patients. The number of people that had died in these COVID 19 hard hit countries in Africa are 883 but the WHO revealed that the novel disease had killed more than 100 people in Africa.
Algerian, according the WHO, is the African country with the highest number of deaths of 364 casualties, followed by Egypt,205 and Morocco 135 while 17 Nigerian Coronavirus patients had died so far including a Medical doctor while 18 had died in Niger. Within the Nigerian neighbouring countries, only Benin Republic, according to who report has the lowest COVID 19 cases and reported death since the outbreak of the disease in the Continent last March. The number of the COVID 19 infected persons in the country was said to be 35 and one reported death
. This may have informed why the country has tightened its borders across the country with Nigeria and Niger to curb the spread of the disease in the country. In fact, President President , Patrick Talon, is now enjoying the border closure between Nigeria and its neighbouring countries of Benin, his home country, Niger and the Central African country of Cameroon because of the novel disease which had spread to over 210 countries in the world.
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