There was something about him that romances controversy. Yet while alive, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari who died recently was known to be even more taciturn than his principal. He was not elected, but he had such thick skin that whatever was said about him hardly spurred him to make effort at disabusing the mind of his critics. Though he was not the first to hold that office in Nigeria, he probably was the most discussed chief of staff, in life and in death. Kyari was not elected but his reputation travelled far and near that those who cannot pick him in a group of three swore they knew he wielded power like none before him.
When Nigerians echoed Aisha Buhari, first lady and the complain about the presence of a cabal in Aso Villa that used power to the admiration of the timid mandate peddler, his name shot like it ever adorned a campaign poster. When the villa needed to talk sense to some haughty federal legislators who refused to be tested at the airport after corona virus stepped in at the door of the nation, he it was who penned the letter to Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives. It was not clear whether President Buhari heard the news of the belligerent legislators from the inner recess of the National Assembly.
It was as if the flapping of his babariga was mystically connected to a bell at the city gate in Abuja.
To the contemporary power historian, Kyari was the quintessential power monger, the man who took the horsewhip from the king when fatigue induced sleep day and night. How much he did with the horsewhip we are yet to know.
Then he was not one to die quietly. While the villa was not yet convinced what to do with coronavirus, he it was who cuddled the virus while on official duty to Germany and Egypt to find solution to Nigeria’s protracted problem. That generated noise power because he needed to be told that a trip to sign power [or any] agreement was not within his purview. That he should have limited himself to minding mind the president. But he would not join issues with anybody, because it really was not the first time. Then in death, the handlers of his corpse would not let him go quietly. The story of his demise is in Death in the Cabal. Anayochukwu Agbo, general editor and head of Abuja bureau wrote the story, which is a special report in this edition. Another special report is the story on the pains that Covid-19 continues to inflict on people around the world. King Corona Rules The World.
The cover story is anchored by Adekunbi Ero, executive editor. It is in two segments: “Where Does Nigeria Go From Here?” and Those Who Sold The Buhari “Dummy”