Since his appointment as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2015, Abba Kyari was a major player in Nigeria’s central government till he died on Friday, April 17.
He was among the first key officers to be reappointed for a second stint when Buhari was re-elected as President in 2019.
In March, he tested positive to the coronavirus and was reported to have travelled to Lagos for treatment.
Not much was heard about him thereafter, until the Presidency, in a statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity announced his passage.
Born in 1938, Kyari graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick, in 1980 and also received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983.
A year later, he obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge and later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He participated in the Programme for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and practised law while working at 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 and had a stint as commissioner in his native Borno State in 1990.
For the next five years, he was the secretary to the board of African International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
He also held positions as an Executive Director at the United Bank for Africa, and later 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.
Left behind to mourn the rather quiet officer are his wife and four children, numerous relatives, and a Nigerian nation many agree he served diligently.