Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, has revealed Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction to the death of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.
Shehu, who spoke at the graveside of Kyari, said President Buhari had accepted the development as the will of God.
Shehu said: “These are not things that we have a choice in, it’s providence, it’s God who says who goes and who stays. The President, obviously a deeply religious person, takes it that it cannot be helped, at the end of the day, all of us will also go that way.”
Shehu, however, further described Kyari as the pillar in President Buhari’s cabinet.
Shehu said Kyari had been a close associate of the President for more than 40 years and was about the only one who understood President Buhari’s view on virtually every issue.
He went on to note that Kyari offered 100% loyalty to the President.
“It’s a deeply shocking incident because Abba Kyari is like a pillar there in the Presidency, he’s a rallying point of the entire workforce working with the President.
“He has had a long working relationship with the President; more than 40 years of being together. He has a full understanding of the President, he knew exactly where the President stood on every issue and so, therefore, he was there to fix it for the President and get them done as the President wants.
“He offered 100% loyalty to the President and all of these things that Abba Kyari brought focus to bear on long-delayed infrastructure; whether they are road, railway, power and so on, all of them have the imprints of the President on them because this is where the President lived and believed and Abba Kyari was there to ensure that President Buhari, at the end of his two terms, leaves behind legacies that will last and for which he will be remembered and these are the things that Abba Kyari cared for”, he said.
However, the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) had warned against conducting private burials for victims of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
But Shehu allayed fears about a possible breach of public health protocols. He noted that the usual ceremonies that would have followed the burial had been put off.
Shehu said: “The burial and the funeral are strictly private. After the burial, all those who have come will go home. There will be no ceremonies such as paying condolence visits.
“We want Nigerians to observe the regulations as put in place by the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health so that we can all stay healthy and live to be there tomorrow.”