Recently the media has been smashed with pictures and briefs of Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of staff to the President of Nigeria, Muhamadu Buhari and this is not in the affirmative since it talks of illness and death.
Let me make a quick recap, Mallam Abba Kyari was appointed by President Buhari and subsequently assumed office on 27th August, 2915 and untill last month maintained a cordial working relationship with his Principal with good health of mind and body.
On March 24, 2020, it was made public that Mallam Abba Kyari tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23, following an official trip to Germany nine days before. It was also reported that Mallam Abba Kyari has underlying medical conditions,and was secretly flown out of the country.He later rejected these claims, and was moved from Abuja to Lagos.
Similarly, on 30th March, 2020 there was a fake letter of public notice said to have emanated from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha. The letter reads in part “President Muhamadu Buhari has terminated the appointment of Mr. Abba Kyari as his Chief of Staff (COS) due to his Corona virus disease COVID-19 heath status and his age risk factor”.
This caused a lot of panic within the polity, especially as the notice went ahead to name a successor in the person of Alhaji Babagana Kingibe. The rumor makers therefore succeeded in confusing the Nigerian populace and creating further doubts as to whether Mallam Abba Kyari was still alive or not.
I was personally disgusted reading as some few Nigerians use the opportunity to talk down on Buhari’s government attributing every wrong thing to the making of Mallam Abba Kyari. May I educate this group of persons that, a chief of staff to either a Governor or President solely relies on the direction of governance made possible by his Principal. He has no authority to give instructions without a directive of his Principal. How therefore was it possible for Mallam Abba Kyari to have failed Nigerians as some of this critics concluded.
It is worthy of note that both the teachings of the Quoran and Bible admonish us to pray for our leaders and those in authority. The Holy books have said God does not rejoice over the death of a lost soul. We are therefore urge to pray for our leaders to enable them govern us right even when we feel they are not doing things correctly.
On his health jest, I boldly say that we are all vunerable to illness at anytime. If you try doing a constant medical checkup, you will understand that we are all ill in many ways, that we seem strong on the outside is no prove of the absence of ailment in our body.
Interestingly, Mallam Abba Kyari himself understand these things very well given his educational stature. In 1980, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Warwick, and also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Cambridge. In 1983, he was called to the Nigerian Bar after attending the Nigerian Law School.
In 1984, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.
This academic toga of Mallam Abba Kyari made things easier and given his exposure, he never reacted negatively to the Nigerian public. Sadly, I feel for him and his immediate family, that Nigerians didn’t find a way to say thank you for all his efforts but rather tried quite successfully to demean his person. I wish Mallam Abba Kyari a speedy recovery as he battles the deadly Corona virus. May Allah the most merciful and most beneficient heal him completely.
Yakubu Shendam, a former President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, writes from Abuja.