The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has reacted to the death of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari.
The monarch, in a statement sent to POLITICS NIGERIA, described the death of Kyari as an unfortunate surprise.
The statement released in the early hours of Saturday was signed by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare.
This paper had earlier reported how Mr Kyari died of COVID-19 at First Cardiology Consultant (FCC), a top private facility located in Ikoyi, Lagos, where he was receiving treatment.
Oba Ogunwusi also described late Kyari as a coolheaded, fine gentleman and great respecter of traditional institutions who had until his death handled his position as a public servant with dignity and dedication arising from his fervent belief in and his incorruptible patriotism to the Nigerian project.
The statement said: “The House of Oduduwa under the leadership of the Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife has received news of the death of Alhaji Abba Kyari with a rude shock and he sees it as a very unfortunate surprise.
“Late Abba Kyari was a detribalized Nigerian and coolheaded fine gentleman who had treated traditional institutions with love and respect and who had until his death undoubtedly dignified public service as Chief of Staff with dignity and dedication motivated by his fervent belief in and incorruptible patriotism to the Nigerian project.
“Kabiyesi Ooni immediately after the news was confirmed, made a phone communication to the wife and children of the late Chief of Staff in which he prayed for the gentle soul of the deceased and the fortitude for the family to bear the irreparable loss.”
The statement quoted Ooni Ogunwusi, Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, as urging Nigerians to take the ongoing fight against the global coronavirus pandemic more seriously, adding the virus is a ruthless enemy of humanity that must be collectively defeated.
The Ooni also prayed for the souls of the thousands of victims around the world already killed by COVID-19 and charged Nigerians to keep the rules and regulations already set by the government as measures to combat the pandemic.