By Bala Ibrahim
Today, Abuja is without Mallam Abba Kyari, the deceased chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, but the nation and the nation’s capital have never been in better remorse, or state of higher mental and emotional sobriety.
With the exception of a thoughtless, thickheaded and morally bankrupt commissioner from Kano who was instantly fired by the governor, Nigerians were united through accolades in condolence, over the death of Mallam Abba Kyari. May the stream of sympathy, which seems to be coming in torrent, be the signal that would signpost his way to the best of the heavens. Ameen.
I am not mandated or licensed to defend Mallam Abba Kyari, but I have taken it upon myself to pick permission or consent, from the tribute of Simon Kolawole, where he said in one of their numerous conversations, he asked the late Abba if they could publish his defense on the relentless allegations against him, and Abba answered thus, “No. I’m only explaining this for you to know the correct facts. I’m not asking you to defend me. But even if you want to defend me during arguments or discussions, I want you to do it on the basis of facts, not emotions.”
I would therefore use the testimonies of three people as facts, which may trigger emotions though, to advance my defense for Mallam Abba, with the hope that the defense would serve as a lesson to those that take delight in casting aspersions, particularly those that make a living out of slander.
The first testimony is the confession of Simon Kolawole himself, about the nationalism of late Abba Kyari, wherein in expressing his concern for Nigeria about the virus that would later be the cause of his death, Mallam Abba queried, “How many intensive care units do we have ready to admit acute cases? How quickly can we increase the numbers if the virus spreads? How many nurses do we have to deploy immediately and how quickly can we increase the numbers? How many ventilators do we have and how many should we ideally have and how quickly can we increase the numbers?”
Whatever the effort he made to address those concerns, only God, and probably the President can answer that, because today, Abuja is without Abba.
The second confession came on the twitter handle of Prof. Goni Bulama from Maiduguri, who disclosed as follows: “Abba Kyari sponsored 1000 orphans in Maiduguri from 2001 to date. Their feedings, schools, medical bills and marriage bills. Nobody knows and he warned me not to tell anybody. The money comes through me every 3 months.”
We are privileged to have this information from Professor Goni Bulama because Abuja is today without Abba.
The third and most important defense is the reference letter of integrity, sent to God by Mallam Abba Kyari’s principal and Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, wherein he described him, as the VERY BEST IN US.
“In political life, Abba never sought elective office for himself. Rather, he set himself against the view and conduct of two generations of Nigeria’s political establishment – who saw corruption as an entitlement and its practice a byproduct of possessing political office. Becoming my Chief of Staff in 2015, he strove quietly and without any interest in publicity or personal gain to implement my agenda.”
Of course God is long aware of this, but we are only knowing it now, because Abuja is without Abba.
In Islam, my religion and the religion of the late Abba, death is a mere transitional phase between one stage of life and another. Burying the dead is encouraged in order to ensure that he or she is accorded dignity and respect, and that the feelings of their living loved ones are considered. But the soul is long assigned an abode. Whatever is said about the dead by the public after his or her departure is a reflection of the kind of reception he or she would receive on arrival at the new abode.
From the collective confessions of the public, a lot of Mallam Abba’s critics must be sleeping with deep regret, or the feeling of guilt, for the wrong committed on him by resting everything bad in Nigeria on his head.
I don’t know how he is feeling, but I am sure many heads would be wracked with guilt, when a day like this comes in the life of Mallam Mamman Daura, the alleged, “most powerful” nephew of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari. Like late Abba Kyari, Mallam Mamman never put any defense on the allegations against him.
I would have used additional testimonies in defense of Abba, particularly the one from the first lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, but I don’t want to be accused of being bias, by using two people with the same address.
I only hope with these confessions, and the confession of her husband, alongside her remorseful remarks on late Abba, the first lady would hasten to make amends, even if by way of silent apology to those she and others coined as the cabal, committing crimes in the cabinet of the president. The moral importance of such an action should not carry additional emphasis.
In his music, Survival, Bob Marley said, A good man is never honored in his own country. Nothing change, nothing strange. Nothing change, nothing strange. Yes, the black survivors! We’re the survivors:
Now that Abba is not in Abuja, the surviving public is more in the know.
Juxtapose the situation with the Hausa adage that says, ‘kada Allah ya kawo ranar yabo’, some hearts would bleed on the day of remembering their deeds.
Cheerio the Chief.
Mr. Ibrahim writes from Abuja