By Mohammad Babadzuru
Few days ago, the social media was littered with rumours of the death of ‘an aide of the president’, ostensibly referring to Abba Kyari who is currently recovering from Covid-19 infection.
Others, however, came with their version of the story saying that Abba Kyari has been relieved of his appointment as the Chief of Staff to the President.
The manner and speed the rumours spread is an indication that many people seem to have a wrong understanding of the man- Abba Kyari, hence, are not wishing him well.
It is worth reiterating that Abba Kyari is the Chief of Staff to the President and not the Chief of Staff to Nigerians.
As it is the world over, Chief of Staff to any Chief Executive at whatever level is not chosen anyhow. Chief of Staff are always trusted and close allies to the Chief Executives.
Therefore, Abba Kyari is no doubt, the right hand man, trusted, dependable and very close to President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The President chose him because he knows his antecedents and can trust and rely on him to advise him appropriately and to also do the right things.
As expected, Chief of Staff to Chief Executives gather a lot of enemies. Not because they have done anything wrong, but because they are close to their Chief Executives.
What many people do not know is that, most Chief of Staff around the world, take heat from both the president and the president’s enemies.
Because of his/her role, Chief of Staff most times manage the flow of information to the president; protect the president’s interests, negotiate on behalf of the president with different interest groups in order to achieve the president’s agenda. He/she also advises the president on various issues including telling the president the bitter truth.
Hence, most times, Chief of Staff are referred to as gatekeepers. He/she is the one who take the heat for the president, and brings the President’s “No” to those who the President cannot tell that to. He/she corners the President’s enemies for him/herself.
Many people, most times describe the Chief of Staff as enemies of progress because their selfish demands or requests were not granted by the president. They always blame the Chief of Staff anytime their selfish requests hit the rock.
That makes the job of the Chief of Staff very complex and complicated. This is where Abba Kyari found himself.
It is therefore, not surprising to know that Abba Kyari has bundles of enemies in Nigeria and even beyond. In fact, it will be a shock to here Abba Kyari being praised or applauded by many.
Abba Kyari’s hatred by many got to its peak in this second term of President Mohammadu Buhari.
Recall that at the onset of this administration in 2019, the President directed members of his cabinet to channel all requests through Kyari’s office. This singular directive skyrocketed Abba Kyari’s enemies even among those who do not have anything to do with the president directly.
For those who do not know Abba Kyari, let me help you. Over the years, Abba Kyari is known to be a man with a high reputation for discipline and accountability. He is also known for having a very strong work ethic and believes in the principle of hard work.
Findings have revealed that Abba Kyari got to the heart of the President because of his high level integrity and accountability.
According to those who have worked closely with him over the years, Abba Kyari is said to be very stubborn when it comes to transparency. He is also knowlegible. This, many people are not aware of.
Abba Kyari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Warwick, England in 1980. He also possesses a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law from the University of Cambridge, England and was called to the Nigerian Bar after attending the Nigerian Law School in 1983.
In 1984, he obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development at Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, USA in the years 1992 and 1994.
He has also worked in several places and held sensitive positions.
At this critical time of Nigeria’s history, transparent, accountable and selfless leaders like Abba Kyari are needed in the corridors of power so that they can positively influence the system by ensuring that the right things are done for the growth of the nation.
At this age, Abba Kyari does not need to amass any wealth for himself. Let no one think that he is close to the president to make money. Right from his early years, he is known to be a man who is always contented with what he legitimately earns.
This, Nigerians need to know so that they can keep praying for God to continue to give him the needed wisdom and courage to advise and assist the president move the nation forward.
For those who don’t wish Abba Kyari well, know that it is God that has the final say concerning the life and destiny of any human being. All bad wishes against anyone cannot stand except the Almighty allow it.
It is important to advice Nigerians to continue to pray for our leaders, especially, the President and his close aides so that they can always carry on the affairs of the nation according to the plan of the Almighty.
While we are praying for his speedy recovery and all those who contracted Covid-19 in Nigeria, I sincerely request that, please, leave Abba Kyari alone. Don’t distract him.
Babadzuru, a public affairs analyst write from Kaduna