•As govs, Sultan, IBB, Atiku, others mourn late CoS
By Egena Sunday Ode, Yakubu Mustapha, Minna, Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina, AND Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Presidency has ordered all State House Correspondents and media office staff who covered the funeral prayer and burial ceremony of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Abba Kyari, to go into isolation for 14 days.
The order to work from home and keep off the the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in the meantime, according to an advisory signed by the Deputy Director of Information at the State House, Attach Esa is “a precautionary measure.”
This is coming on the heels of messages of condolence from state governors, traditional and political leaders across the country over the death of the late Chief of Staff.
Abba Kyari died on Friday night in Lagos as a result of coronavirus complications, and was flown back to Abuja Saturday morning for funeral prayers and burial.
Many had observed, however, that the protocol established by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, for burial of COVID-19 victims was grossly breached in the course of the rites.
Specifically, social distancing was said be utterly ignored by the large crowd that thronged the Gudu cemetery where the body of the deceased CoS was laid to rest, while some sympathizers and undertakers also failed to wear face masks and hand gloves as required.
A video of one of those who participated in the burial but failed to dispose his personal protective equipment professionally also went viral in the social media soon after the burial was concluded.
“As a precautionary measure, all State House Correspondents and Media Office Staff who covered/attended the funeral prayer/burial ceremony of the late Chief of Staff, at Defence House and Gudu Cemetery Abuja, respectively, are strongly advised to work from home for the next 14 days.
“Please be careful to observe the recommended measures to prevent the coronavirus transmission, including maintaining physical distancing and good personal hygiene going forward,” the advisory by Mr Esa read.
Recall that the number of media houses accredited to cover the State House was drastically reduced earlier as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, North-Central Governor’s Forum and Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has received with shock, the death of Malam Abba Kyari.
This was contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, the Governor mourns and commiserates with the presidency, family, friends and the people of Nigeria over the death of the President’s CoS.
Governor Bello eulogised the examplary leadership qualities of the deceased noting that the demise of the CoS is, indeed, a great loss to the nation as he was dedicated to nation-building and committed to national integration.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State also expressed profound sadness over the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, lamenting that the nation has lost a great patriot.
Condoling President Muhammadu Buhari and the immediate family of the deceased, Governor Masari said, with Abba Kyari’s demise, Nigeria had lost one of its finest citizens, whose lifetime was devoted to service to the fatherland.
In a statement signed by his nedia aide, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, the Katsina State Governor said that no amount of eulogy could quantify the value added by the deceased to the development of the nation, which spanned various facets of human endeavour, including banking, journalism and administration at the highest level.
While calling on Nigerians to emulate the late Abba Kyari by living the simple life in a manner he was famously known for, Governor Masari observed that the President’s ex-Chief of Staff had left a shoe that would not be filled easily
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, also sent words of condolence.
A statement by Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Secretary General of NSCIA yesterday said
The body received the news of the death of Alh. Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, with great shock.
“The late Chief of Staff was an excellent administrator who was committed to the overall development of the nation through dedicated and loyal service not only to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, but also to the Nigerian nation.
“The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, through your office, commiserates with the President and government of Nigeria on this grievous occasion. It is the prayer of the Ummah in Nigeria that Almighty Allah would grant the departed Chief of Staff Al-jannah Al-firdaus. Amin. Please, convey the heartfelt sympathy, condolences and prayers of the entire Muslim Community in Nigeria to Mr President and government of Nigeria, as well as the illustrious family of the departed dedicated public servant – Alh. Abba Kyari,” the statement said.
For his part, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger state Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari who died on Friday.
The Royal Father, in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists yesterday in Minna, however described the death of Abba Kyari, as a great loss to Nigeria.
He stated that Nigeria has lost a fine and dedicated gentleman, a patriot and reliable administrator who was always mindful of his duties and responsibilities.
He said “the late Chief of Staff would be remembered for his exemplary leadership, effectiveness in service, dedication and loyalty while carrying out the duties and responsibilities of his office”.
Kaduna state Governor Mallam Nasir El Rufai also condoled president Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of staff Late Mallam Abba Kyari.
The Deputy Governor of the state Dr Hadiza Balarabe stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday.
The statement stated that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has personally called President Muhammadu Buhari to condole him over the death of Malam Abba Kyari, his Chief of Staff.
He conveyed his condolence on behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State.
‘’The death of Malam Abba is a sad moment, a painful manifestation of the huge toll COVID-19 is taking on lives and livelihoods. May Allah grant him peaceful repose. Our thoughts at this moment are with his family,’’ the statement said.
Similarly the Organized labour has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari on the death of Abba Kyari.
In a Condolence statement in Kaduna, former General Secretary of Textile Union and Vice President Industriall Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu recalled what he called “the remarkable statesmanship” of Abba Kyari in promoting diversification and Industrialization in the country. “With nostalgia we remember how the Chief of Staff On Tuesday July 23 2019 single handedly commendably facilitated historic courtesy visit to the President Muhammadu Buhari, by the leadership of textile union and the Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA).” he wrote.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also condoled President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari, describing the deceased as a loyal aide.
Reacting to the death in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, the former Vice President said, “I have received the death of your Chief of Staff with profound grief and sorrow, and I convey to you my deepest and heartfelt sympathies at this sombre moment.”
According to Atiku, death is inevitable and every living being will ultimately experience this terminal stage of life.
The Wazirin Adamawa reminded Nigerians that the coronavirus pandemic is a reality and it respects no political and social boundaries.
He explained that the death of the Chief of Staff should galvanize Nigerians to support the efforts to contain this deadly virus.