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Abba Kyari’s death: Buhari bans condolence visits, insists on social distancing rules

… Obasanjo, Jonathan, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Atiku, Obi condoles with President

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday spoke on the death of his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, extolling his “enormous sacrifices and contributions” to the success of his “politics and administration and to the overall development of the nation.”

In a statement issued by Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, the President said that in mourning his late top aide, there should be “strict observance of the social distancing rules as prescribed by the National Centre for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Health; and other safe hygiene practices as advised by relevant local authorities.”

Because of the strict observance of the social distancing rules, the statement also said that “the President will not be available for condolence visitors but urges, in place of that prayers be offered for the repose of soul of the departed Chief of Staff.”

The President also conveys his “deep appreciation to foreign leaders and all Nigerians, from whom a stream of messages have been reaching him over this irreparable loss.”

Meanwhile, former Nigerian Presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan, have commiserated with President Buhari over the death of Mallam Kyari.

In a letter he personally signed and addressed to Buhari, Obasanjo said he received the news of the death of Kyari with great sadness “as he lost the battle against the dreadful killer disease, COVID-19. Abba Kyari’s death must be painful to you and to his family and friends, but you can all take solace in the fact that he died in harness, in the service of his country. God will give you and Abba Kyari’s family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”             

In a tweet he personally posted on his verified Twitter handle: @gejonathan, Dr Jonathan said: “I condole with H.E @MBuhari, the Kyari family & all sympathisers on the demise of Mallam Abba Kyari who until his death was the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria. May Allah grant him Al Jannah Firdaus & strengthen his family & friends during this moment of grief.GEJ.”       

Also, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in a statement described the late Kyari  as a loyal aide to President Buhari, saying that he received the news of the death “with profound grief and sorrow.”

Atiku added that “we are bound by common humanity and I therefore feel and share your grief at this moment. May Allah forgive the deceased and grant him eternal bliss in paradise.” 

Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, in his tribute, said Mallam Abba was a strong pillar of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

In a statement by his Spokesperson, Mr Ola Awoniyi, Lawan said that Kyari was “a was a man of deep convictions and courage who understood his role and performed it with uncommon dedication and effectiveness. He shared the values of President Buhari and his passion for the emancipation of the poor in Nigeria and the all-round development of the country for the benefit of all its people.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he is saddened by his death as it is “sad and shocking.”

PDP Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 election, Mr Peter Obi, sympathized with the President and Kyari’s family, urging them to take the loss though painful, as the will of God.

Obi prayed to God to grant all that had died from the coronavirus pandemic eternal rest, and through His divine healing Hands to touch and clear the world of the deadly Covid19 disease. Obi however advised, “all and sundry to continue to abide by regulations and protocols stipulated by government and global health agencies to stay safe from the Coronavirus infection.”                   

The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Abba Kyari’s demise as “saddening and a painful loss.”

Also, the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said Nigeria must use Kyari’s demise and those of others fallen by the virus to “strengthen our resolve in fighting the pandemic. We must not allow the passing away of Mallam Kyari and the other Nigerians who have lost their lives to this terrible disease to be in vain. Although we are today made sad, we must also use this moment to strengthen our resolve in fighting the pandemic.”                         

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