The chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari has died, the presidency has announced.
Sprcial Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a press release that Kyari died on Friday, April 17, 2020.
He said: “The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari.
“The deceased had tested positive to the raging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” Adesina said, adding that “funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.”
A Kanuri from Borno, not much is known about his early life. In 1980, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick, and also received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge.
In 1983, he was called to the Nigerian Bar after attending the Nigerian Law School.
In 1984, he obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge.
He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.
Kyari was married to the sister-in-law of Ibrahim Tahir, and has four children.
Kyari worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo for some time after his return to Nigeria.
From 1988 to 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited Kaduna.
In 1990, he served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno State.
From 1990 to 1995, Kyari was the secretary to the board of African International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
Kyari was an executive director in charge of management services at the United Bank for Africa, and was later appointed the chief executive officer. In 2002, he was appointed a board director of Unilever Nigeria, and later served on the board of Exxon Mobil Nigeria.
In August 2015, Kyari was appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kyari was an influential figure within the Buhari administration. During the administration’s first term, he worked mainly behind the scenes to implement the president’s agenda. In 2019 with Buhari’s re-election for a second term, he ordered his cabinet to channel all requests through Kyari’s office. Further enhancing his influence within government circles, and being labelled as the de facto head of government.