The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), has tasked friends and family of Abba Kyari to mentor the next generation of Nigerians to uphold the values of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu.
Col. Ali gave the charge at a book presentation in Kyari’s honour on Thursday at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
The book titked ‘The Man Abba Kyari’ was written by David Onmeje, a UK-based author and lecturer.
In his remark, Col. Ali said the late journalist, lawyer and businessman was often misunderstood by many because of his integrity and deviation from the norm.
He said, “Anyone that undertakes the challenge of passing through the road of credibility, honesty, and integrity will end up being the most controversial and misunderstood person, and that is what Mallam Abba Kyari was.
“He passed through that path. And in the course of doing so, you would agree that, one would roughen some edges. That was happening in the course of his life as a private citizen.
“And when he found himself in government, it was rough, in the sense that when he choose to say ‘yes’ to the left and ‘no’ to the right, the chances were that he had a lot of controversies and enemies”.
The Customs boss, who said he knew Kyari for 22 years also said that the late Chief of Staff to President Buhari stood for what he believed and was uncompromisng.
“Mallam Abba, whom I knew closely for 22 years, was someone who does not hold back his views. He was ready to take up a fight when you decide to deviate from the norms. He doesn’t take ‘No’ for an answer,” he added.
“The issue with regards to controversy is normal, some of us are into it and will continue to be in it. Some of us are being hated, but we would continue to do what we believe in. That was exactly what Abba did until his death.”
Col. Ali, however, urged the family and friends to pass his legacy to young Nigerians.
Similarly, Governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum said the late Kyari was not a controversial man, instead, he discharged his duties to President Buhari with dedication and loyalty.
represented by his Chief-of-Staff, Professor Isah Hussein the said, “Abba Kyari was a typical technocrat. He excelled in all the disciplines or organizations he found himself. He was a people’s person.
“Abba Kyari, some have said, was a controversial person. He was not. He was just doing his job. To be a chief-of-staff you must have certain qualities. Abba had all of those. One of them is dedicated to his job. But most importantly, is loyalty to your boss, and it must be total.
“People tried to get to Mr. President or had their own agenda found that Abba Kyari was always there. They could not bend him. That’s why a lot of people say he was controversial. He was just doing his job.”
Reviewing the book, Prof. Udenta Udenta, said the book portrayed Kyari’s character and its contradictory assessment by the people.
“The book would open a floodgate of commentaries, and accounting about the life and times of this very complex individual (Abba Kyari),” he said.
On his part, Onmeje described the late Chief of Staff as a patriot and committed public servant who was widely respected for his loyalty and commitment to the goals and aspirations of President Buhari.