There is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari may have directed his new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari to cancel all appointments and approvals made by the late Chief of staff Abba Kyari without his permission.
Though no reason was given for the President’s alleged action, however, reports indicated that no less than 150 memos without the President’s authorization may have been uncovered.
President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina acknowledged The Guardian’s SMS seeking clarification on the development but declined to confirm or refute the reports.
He simply said, “I’ve seen your text, I’ve seen your text,” and ended the chat when our Reporter reached him again minutes later via a phone call on Sunday.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu also did not reply to a text message seeking confirmation on the development.
Kyari caved into the fangs of the ravaging coronavirus in a Lagos hospital after testing positive to the pandemic prevailing across the globe with the number of victims steadily rising in Nigeria.
The job of the Chief of Staff makes the occupier the closet person to the President and easily the most powerful staff in the Presidency.
The death of Kyari came at a time his role as the alter ego of President Buhari’s Presidency loomed so large that some observers called him de facto president and frontline field commander of the so-called cabal.
When the late Chief of Staff contracted the highly contagious and lethal coronavirus, also known as COVID-19; the accident helped to drive home the point that contrary to general public cynicism, COVID-19 was not only real but also shows no respect for race, complexion or continent.
However, the circumstances under which the late powerful aide contracted the virus brought fresh focus his pervading influence as the de facto President.
Kyari, had, according to reports, travelled to Munich, Germany on March 7, 2020, to sign an energy supply agreement with SIEMENS on behalf of Nigeria.
While questions were asked as to why despite not being an elected official or Minister of Power, the Chief of Staff had to perform such an important role, Kyari informed his close aides that he was on a national assignment to make sure that the power supply problems were fixed.
Those close to him explained that trip was evidence of his determination to ensure that President Buhari succeeded in delivering on his electioneering promises and as a patriotic move, just as some cynics accused him of hurrying to make some deals for himself.
Mallam Kyari, according to those conversant with the inner workings of Aso Villa, had his hand in every pie, because he was “leveraging on his sound education, brilliant intellect and experience in bureaucracy and business.”
But to cynical politicians and those who feel sidelined by his ubiquitous presence around President Buhari, always point out his limited success in journalism, banking and other sectors where he had held sway, to dismiss his patriotic and keen sense of duty.
One of the areas, which detractors use to criticize Kyari’s competence, was his stint at the failed Africa International Bank (AIB), which he presided over. His political opponents tried to define the late CoS as the architect of the negative public perception of the Buhari administration, they also contend that although every government throughout history is wont to harbour a kitchen cabinet, caucus or cabal, “the remarkable distinction is whether the kitchen cabinet is public-spirited or self-centered.”
Self-centered kitchen cabinets are usually rated so low, as such it could be on account of the public perception of being self-serving that Buhari’s kitchen cabinet was referred to derogatory terms as a cabal, especially going by what happened in the administration within the last five years.
The late former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, is one of those still listed as aides to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), weeks or months after they have vacated their seats either through death or replacement, ThePunch reports.
A check on the website of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Friday showed that Kyari was still on the updated list of political appointees over a month after he died due to complications arising from COVID-19.
Kyari died on April 17 and has since been replaced by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, whose appointment was confirmed by the SGF, Boss Mustapha, on May 13.
Over a week after the announcement, Kyari still occupies the fourth position on the list, coming after Buhari; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and Mustapha.
Another person still on the list is Prof. Charles Dokubo, who was suspended as the Special Adviser to the President/Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme in February.
Dokubo, who was appointed on March 13, 2018, was suspended based on the recommendation of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.
He is still occupying third position on the list of special advisers to the President. Some government officials who had been replaced and a late official still made the updated list of political appointees.
For instance, the late Tijjani Yusuf is still on the list of special assistants. He is listed as Special Assistant to the President on General Duties.
The Presidency had in a July 3, 2019 statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced Yusuf’s death.
Also still on the list is a former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla.
He was listed as the Special Assistant to the President on (Prosecution), Federal Ministry of Justice.
After his sacking as the SPIP chairman, the Presidency, again through a September 17, 2019 press statement by Adesina, announced the dissolution of the panel.
Another person that is still on the list a member representing Kano Municipal Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Shaaban Sharada.
His name still appeared on the list despite winning an election to represent his people during the 2019 general elections.
Also curiously in the list are the names of two official photographers for the Vice-President.
Novo Isioro was still listed as the Special Assistant to the President (Visual Communication), Office of the VP, despite the fact that the lady appointed on August 12, 2017, had since stopped working with the Presidency.
*Says Barrister Ogie, Philip Shaibu frustrated Edo CoS out of office
Fearless and consistent, Patriot Patrick Eholor has been known to speak the truth, and fight for the masses, even when there is threat to his life.
He became famous for staging many protests against some unpopular decisions of the then governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and even extended his protests against the then Federal Government, National Assembly and to any sector where the common man faces oppression.
Truly, Eholor fits into a succinct description of himself he gave to Jungle Journalist Media Limited “I am a man who is a social crusader, a man who has put his life before men and risked everything that I have, and ate fire for my people to drink water”.
His relentless campaigns led him to receive a meritorious award from the African Bar Association some time last year in far away Liberia, in the presence of President George Weah.
Now in this interview, Eholor cries out about the dangers facing Nigerians in the wake of COVID-19, and specifically talks about Kano and late Abba Kyari.
He also comments on recent resignation of the Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, among other things:
Covid-19, Kano, Abba Kyari:
Abba Kyari was a victim of his own impudence. Before he passed on, because of nepotism and indiscipline of these so called bosses who call themselves leaders, I have never recognised any of them as a leader, I have always seen them as bosses. Because a boss is somebody who wants everything done his own way, a leader is one who seeks your opinion, will accommodate you and you all work together.
Abba Kyari moved the budget allocation of the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Agriculture. Who does that? That’s why I said he is a victim of his own impudence. As we speak today, it has not been reversed. Whatever money the Health Minister needs, he will have to pass through the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture has to approve whatever he wants. Its not done anywhere. The current minister now, is finding it very difficult in this Covid 19 era.
Unfortunately, as is usual with our ministers, they feel that the president is God and they can’t approach him and tell him where they feel the pain. The president isn’t God, he was elected.
Now, there is no isolation centre in the whole of Kano. The only few that they had have been closed, some people have contracted Covid-19 and have absconded. So there are walking corpses everywhere in Kano, waiting to die, and distributing the virus.
If he has not moved the Health Ministry to Agriculture, perhaps the health sector would have been working and he won’t end up a victim of his own. So we have to be careful not to throw stones into the market as we don’t know who its going to hit.
Back to the Kano case. What can you say about Kano and the challenges of Covid-19?
We should call the lawmakers-Senators and Federal House of Representatives, who know that they were genuinely voted in, and acknowledge that they have a responsibility to represent those who voted for them, and remind them that this Covid-19 is real and they should stop playing politics with it.
First, Nigeria will wake up to be responsible to its citizens, to talk to Airtel, MTN, to talk to local and multinationals, Dangote, and those we call rich men. They should call them to come in and assist Nigerians.
Nigerians need that help because they cannot be at home and also be hungry. They are not afraid of Covid-19, they are afraid of hunger.
There was a protest in Kano where people were chanting ‘coronavirus barawo, coronavirus barawo’. It means they are ignorant, it means there is no leadership in that constituency, it means there is no governance in that area. Otherwise they will not say that Coronavirus is barawo, they would have known that its a deadly disease and has no respect for anybody
Having said that, are you aware that about 25 to 35 of very prominent people that have lost their lives within the past few days in the North? So what they have to do is to begin interstate ban. There is no movement into and out of the states. Nobody should leave Edo State to Lagos, nobody should leave Ibadan for Sagamu, Kaduna to Sokoto, Warri to Bayelsa, or leave Bayelsa for Calabar. Because there are a lot of carriers who do not even know and they are taking it from one place to another.
You need to see what happened in New York, and over 53,000 have been lost in the country. The last interview you did with me I told you over 10,000 have lost their lives. So by the day, its counting.
We have people who go to the North and buy cows, tomatoes, yams and onions. We also have our northerners who travel from the North to the South, they should stay in the North for now. If there is any people coming to the South, let us quarantine them.
It’s not enough to say they have no right to travel.
They should be in their respective quarters until we find a solution.
Resignation of Chief of Staff to the Governor of Edo State
What’s your opinion on the resignation of the Chief of Staff to the Governor?
You don’t ask me that, you journalists know what’s going on. What I think is that you reap what you sow. This thing started from Adams Oshiomhole who is my brother and my friend. Because Oshiomhole is a man that was so open in governance, he entertainer no secrecy.
He might have his own flaws, he might have his own issues but he was open to a fault. When he took Barrister Osarodion Ogie as his chief of staff, Ogie enjoyed that position without interference. But Patrick Obahiagbon, the Igbodomigodo, who is also my friend was not so fortunate. Igbodomigodo was a victim of loyalty, of kindness, a victim of honesty. Because he had an aspiration, those who didn’t want him to aspire high, who wanted to stop him did just that.
So Osarodion Ogie took the job of the CoS and was doing the job of the CoS, even though he was no more the CoS.
Igbodomigodo was not too happy, but because of his loyalty to Oshiomhole, he bore that burden.
Now, Akerele came from Lagos and didn’t understand the politics. The Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu whom I know very well, who loves power and will do anything to get it – he knows that, he is my friend. Even when he reads now he will smile and giggle, because he knows that I am the Observer – General in politics.
The same way, he knows the history of his boss, Adams Oshiomhole. But he and Ogie didn’t want a free hand given to Akerele. Akerele was more like just like a CoS by name. He wasn’t doing anything representative of his office. He was redundant, and may have become useless, but because he was not a useless person, he realised sooner than later that he was very useful to himself, his friends and family and said I will no longer tolerate this, it’s either I live free or die.
So he said, I beg to resign. Thank you for letting me work with you. If the likes of Shaibu or Ogie had allowed Akerele to work, he would have delivered as a CoS.
Are you invariably saying Governor Obaseki has no hand in it?
I don’t know the governor too well to either deny or accept anything of him. I love the governor so well from a distance, but I am afraid of the devil in him. There is a demonic power in the governor that supercedes the genuine work he is doing.
Please can you throw more light on this?
You can see some people very nice, very respectful to your rights, you cannot predict them, but more also, whenever they are doing things that does not please God, the devil will tell them that they are doing what’s right. Continue, you don’t have to listen to anybody, continue, you should imprison or destroy anybody you want to destroy. You should not listen to any advise. That’s why I said that I am afraid of the devil in him.
Otherwise, if you look at him name, Nogheghase Godwin, my own must come to pass, you have won, its all synonymous with God. But because there is something in him that he needs delivering from, that’s why he is surrounded by those two powerful, destructive forces that we are seeing destroying his government today.
Patrick Osagie Eholor, President of One Love Foundation and social critic, has stated that the coronavirus pandemic is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria and indeed Africa.
He called on the government to do the much it could to avoid an uprising.
He also spoke extensively on the death of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President.
On lessons to learn from Abba Kyari’s death
We celebrate life. We don’t celebrate when people die rather we condone their family. My condolence goes to the Presidency, the family of the late Abba Kyari and also his friends and associates. There are lessons to be learnt from his death. Nobody can live forever. We must all depart this earth some day. What is paramount is that we should endeavour to leave good legacies behind. We should live a life worthy of emulation.
What we will be remembered for
When we leave this earth people will only remember us for our deeds. We should start reflecting on our actions here on earth. Democracy is all about the people. It is all about transparency and service to the people. When the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a similar health issue like Abba Kyari’s he got admitted into a health facility with quality equipment and was attended to by qualified health workers. Soon he left the facility recovering well and surviving the disease. It is the contrary in Nigeria.
We should improve our health sector
Just recently we heard that in a state in northern Nigeria cars were been shared to people. Such extravagance is uncalled for. The same thing happened in the House of Representatives where they were sharing exotic cars. Such collosal sums of money should have been expended on improving our health sector. We should learn from the Europeans and Americans most especially.
Are Africans cursed?
Are we in Africa cursed? Now that Abba Kyari died did he take any material possession along with him? What he would be remembered for are his deeds here on earth. I want to warn those that thrive in looting our commonwealth that it is time for them to reflect on what awaits them on their last day. It would be reasonable for us to start a positive change whereby women are considered for leadership position. It is now time to make use of our abundant human and material resources to develop the country. We have what it takes to achieve growth and development. We have resourceful people like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is a hot item in South Africa. There are also others who are flying Nigeria’s flag high in different parts of the world.
Covid-19 is a blessing in Nigeria
Coronavirus pandemic is a blessing in disguise for us in Nigeria to take a careful look at our situation and do the right thing. The coronavirus pandemic will help us to have good leadership in Africa. Take for instance, a person like late Captain Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso(formerly Upper Volta) who on becoming President of the tiny country at the age of 30 years changed her fortune for the better. He dealt with those who hitherto were seen as untouchables. Here in Nigeria let us start the construction of edifices that will last for decades. Let us stop the brain drain. We should stop opening the legs of young girls but open their brains. We can do better.
On Governor Godwin Obaseki
Governor Obaseki coming out of his self isolation is definitely not changing things in Edo State. Though I agree with those calling on him to come out of his self isolation and start operating in line with his campaign promises. But you should be now know him as a person who does his things in his own way irrespective of whatever people are clamouring for. He believes he knows it all. Look at the issue of the distribution of stimulus packages to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic in Edo State. Most people ended up getting just a packet of noodles and few grains of rice. How long can people live on that.
Government should avoid uprising
The Federal Government is using the distribution of stimulus as a cover up for its negligence of people’s welfare. It is a scam. The World Bank and other international agencies have rescued us from huge debt repayment by giving us debt relief packages such that whatever we gain from this can be used to cater for people in this stay at home season. Meanwhile, the government do not supply electricity and there is no stimulus/welfare package from them. I pray that we would not experience an uprising whereby people go into the streets to revolt and cause mayhem. With the army of unemployed people all over the place government cannot stop such a crisis if it happens.
The frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has offered condolences on the passing of Mallam Abba Kyari who until his death served as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The news of Abba Kyari’s death was announced by the Presidency in the early hours of today, weeks after he tested positive to COVID-19.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, in a message released by his Campaign Organization, expressed sadness at his death and extolled his ‘selfless and patriotic’ service to the country.
He said: “Abba Kyari was a patriot with a rare dedication to country and duty. He spent most of his life in service to Nigeria and applied himself relentlessly, in both private and public office, to the important task of translating his vision of a great Nigeria that works for all into reality.”
“My deepest condolences to his bereaved family, the Presidency and other Nigerians touched by his sad passage.”
“His loss is no doubt a huge blow to the country, even more so to our President, Muhammadu Buhari, who found in the late Abba Kyari a confidant, friend, and capable hands to entrust important duties in the quest to take the country to the next level”
“I am saddened by the loss. I pray that God grants him eternal rest and his family the strength to bear the loss.”
Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari has tested positive for Coronavirus.
President Buhari tested negative, according to Arise TV.
Kyari who returned from Germany on March 14 did not self isolate as NCDC directed and attended a meeting on Sunday in Aso rock where he began to cough repeatedly and thereafter surrendered himself for testing.
He has now gone into self isolation for treatment.
Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, is reportedly sick and suspected of contracting the coronavirus disease.
According to SaharaReporters, a top government source said on Monday that Kyari has been seriously “down” since returning from a trip abroad.
Kyari visited Germany and Egypt and only returned this week, giving credence to the fact that he may have indeed been infected with the virus.
The Executive Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Prof James Momoh, was said to have accompanied Kyari on the trip to both countries.
Egypt has 327 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 14 deaths while Germany has 29,056 infections and 123 deaths.
Kyari, who is said to be displaying symptoms of coronavirus like coughing severely, have been attending meetings including with Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and other members of the Federal Executive Council.
This is coming hours after a leaked letter allegedly written by Abba Kyari to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, surfaced online.
In the letter, Kyari expressed displeasure over the alleged refusal of some members of the House of Representatives shunning airport screening when they touched down at the airport.
He wants the erring House members to visit the test centre immediately, maintaining that their action was a serious threat to national security.