Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari is dead. According to a reliable source, he died on Friday night and will be buried according to Islamic rites on Saturday.
A statement released by Femi Adesina, who is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, reads: “The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17,2020.
“Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, passes on. May God rest his soul. Amen. Funeral arrangements to be announced soon.”
Kyari, a Kanuri from Borno State 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 1980.
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 had four children.
On March 24, 2020, it was made public that Kyari tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23, following an official trip to Germany nine days before. It was also reported that Kyari had underlying medical conditions, and was secretly flown out of the country. He later rejected these claims, and was moved from Abuja to Lagos due to medical conditions.
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.