The remains of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari, arrived in Abuja Saturday morning from Lagos, and have been buried at Gudu cemetery in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The burial was after funeral prayers was held at his residence in the highbrow Maitama district of the FCT.
According to a statement from Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, the burial was in line and “as advised by the protocols put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health on social distancing.”
Therefore, the statement said, “the burial marks the end of all ceremonies and there will be no condolence visits to family and the Presidency.
“Well-wishers and all other Nigerians are instead advised to pray for the repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff.
“A condolence register will be opened at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) from Sunday for those who are able to use the window permitted for movement by the FCT administration.”
Late Kyari was late March confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) positive and has been been undergoing treatment in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, before he died on Friday evening.
The burial was carried live by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and relayed by other national network stations.
Safety measures were observed as the body was moved from the ambulance by staff of the NCDC. Hand gloves and sanitisers were shared, as all cleaned their hands and wore gloves.
However, social distancing as preached and enforced by Government to check the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was loudly absent. In addition, the burial took place in spite of the lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States.
The lockdown was initially proclaimed on March 28 by President Buhari and extended for another two weeks on April 13.
Abba Kyari was tested for the COVID-19 virus by NCDC on Monday, March 23. NCDC briefed the President on the outcome of the test on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and a statement was issued confirming that the test was positive.
The test came about two weeks after the late Chief of Staff travelled to Germany to meet with officials of Siemens in Munich on Nigeria’s electricity expansion programme.
He was said to have returned on March 14, although he did not show any symptoms of being infected with the virus. But the late Chief of Staff reportedly submitted himself voluntarily for testing and promptly went into isolation after testing positive.
Three of his staff have also tested positive to Coronavirus.
Six days after testing positive for Coronavirus, Abba Kyari issued a personal statement saying that he was about to be transferred from Abuja to Lagos for further tests and treatment.