“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” spokesman Garba Shehu said on Twitter. Kyari had been hospitalized in the Nigeria commercial capital, Lagos, after testing positive for the coronavirus upon his return from a trip to Germany on March 15.
Mallam Abba Kyari, chief of staff to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and an ardent supporter of state intervention in the economy, has died as a result of coronavirus illness. His age wasn’t disclosed. Born in the northeastern state of Borno, Kyari obtained degrees in sociology and law and attended the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland. He became chief executive officer of the United Bank for Africa Plc and served on the boards of both Unilever Nigeria Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Nigerian unit. He never disclosed his age or date of birth. However Nigerians in social media claim that he was 82 years old, the life releavnt to his long and impressive career.
Buhari, 77, tested negative for the coronavirus last month after Kyari symptons emerged. The number of infections in Nigeria have doubled to 493, with April 17 recording the highest number of confirmed cases in a day following an increase in testing. Africa’s most populous country has so far recorded 17 deaths from the illness.
Kyari, who was appointed to the position in 2015, was widely regarded as Buhari’s most trusted ally, he ravelled to London last year to get Buhari to sign new oil legislation into law, bypassing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and acting as de facto Prime minister of Africa’s biggest oil producer.