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ROUND UP: 5 Major Controversies that rocked Abba Kyari’s Tenure as Chief of Staff

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Death came to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, like a shot from behind after battling with the deadly Coronavirus. Mr Kyari’s death was announced by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina in the wee hours of Friday and was buried in Abuja on Saturday, POLITICS NIGERIA reported.

The deceased tested positive for Coronavirus on March 23 and subsequently moved to a private medical facility in Lagos for treatment. In a March 29 statement, Mr Kyari said his health was improving and urged Nigerians to remain calm about his situation and keep proper hygiene to avoid contracting the virus.

Barely two weeks after, he became the most senior Nigerian government official and politician to die from the virus, which was first reported in the country in February.

In this report, POLITICS NIGERIA looks at five major controversies that surrounded his reign as Mr Buhari’s Chief of Staff.

1. Abba Kyari vs Aisha Buhari

During the first tenure of Mr Buhari, the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, accused Mr Kyari of being one of the cabals ‘disrupting’ her husband’s administration.

She said Mr Kyari is one of the worst individuals working with the president against the interest of the party and many Nigerians who voted for her husband.

Since then, many Nigerians make references to Mrs Buhari allegations anytime Mr Kyari was found wanting in any matter till the point of death.

For Aisha Buhari, most of those appointed by Mr Buhari are in the know of the President’s Chief of Staff.

2. Abba Kyari vs Nasir El-rufai:

In 2016, Mr Kyari also had issues with Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-rufai. The Governor accused him and the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal of being clueless.

He said the two officials are inexperienced in public service, lacking in humility, insensitive and rude to virtually most of the party leaders, ministers and governors.

In summary, he said neither of them has the personality, experience and the reach to manage your politics, nationally or even regionally.

3. MTN scandal

The late Chief of Staff, Mr Kyari was also allegedly enmeshed in the MTN N500 million bribery scandal.

While the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), fine the company $5 billion for a security-related infraction, Mr Kyari was accused of collecting N500 million bribe to help cut down the fine.

Although there was no evidence to nail him till he died but many Nigerians still believed Mr Kyari had knowledge in the reduction in the amount of fine MTN paid as fine.

4. Abba Kyari vs NSA

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno recently accused Mr Kyari of meddling into the affairs of the security of the nation.

He later warned all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from the Chief of Staff without President Buhari’s knowledge.

Mr Monguno said Mr Kyari is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country.

As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.

5. Abba Kyari vs Yemi Osinbajo

Though Mr Osinbajo never for once made it open to the public that he had issues with late Mr Kyari but there were several reports on how the later disturbed the practices of the former.

He reportedly took part in the decision that forced the President to discard Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s request for approval for funds to continue his role in resolving the deadly farmers-herdsmen crisis.

Mr Kyari was said to approach the President with a similar proposal after rubbishing Osinbajo’s request before the President. He was allegedly involved in scrapping the Economic Management Team (EMT) which Mr Osinbajo headed and replaced with the Economic Advisory Council (EAC).

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Kabir Adejumo

Adejumo Kabir is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a great researcher with dozens of investigative journalism awards to his name at the national and international level. He loves community journalism and supports all aspects of public enlightenment. He has experience writing well-researched and impactful reports for several online publications. He is the Director of Campus Press Hub and Author of Campus Journalism Beginners' Handbook. He has also been shortlisted for the DAME Awards for his contributions to Journalism

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