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Life and Times of Late Abba Kyari

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

 

The late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari who passed away Friday night was tested positive to the novel Coronavirus on March 23, 2020 and his status was made public on March 24, following an official trip to Germany nine days earlier.

He had been receiving treatment at an undisclosed medical facility before he died on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Kyari, a Kanuri from Borno, graduated in 1980, 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.

He was married with four children.

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

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.

Political Career 

In August 2015, Kyari was appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Power Politics

Since his appointment, Kyari has become 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.

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