The Presidency has confirmed the death of the powerful Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari.
In the early hours of Saturday April 18, 2020, a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said Kyari, who was in his early 70s, died on Friday, April 17, 2020
The deceased had tested positive for the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. He was reportedly hospitalised in a private hospital in Lagos but the presidency did not disclose where he was treated.
“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari”, Adesina said.
“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”.
Reports said Kyari, who has become Nigeria’s highest-profile casualty of the virus, showed symptoms of the disease after he returned from a trip to Germany last month. His underlying medical conditions was believed to have complicated his battle with the disease.
Aso Rock immediately went into a partial lockdown followed by a flurry of tests by government officials who had been in contact with him.
Regarded as one of the most powerful forces around the president, Kyari, a former chief executive officer of United Bank for Africa Plc, has been Buhari’s Chief of Staff since August 2015.
The Borno-born politician, lawyer and banker, held degrees from the University of Cambridge and University of Warwick in law and sociology respectively. Soon after law school in 1984, he worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo.
From 1988 to 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited Kaduna. In 1990, he served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno State.
From 1990 to 1995, Kyari was the secretary to the board of African International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International. He was also an executive director in charge of management services at the United Bank for Africa. He was later appointed the chief executive officer of the bank.
In 2002, he was appointed a director of Unilever Nigeria. He also later served on the board of ExxonMobil Nigeria.
He is survived by for children.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed that COVID-19 claimed four lives on Friday.
NCDC in a tweet on Friday reported that 32 new cases were confirmed in Lagos, six in Kano, five in Kwara, two each in FCT, Oyo, Katsina and one each in Ogun and Ekiti.
It said: “As at 10:10 pm 17th April, there are 493 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. 159 patients have been discharged and 17 deaths recorded.