Mr Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, died on Friday, April 17, after contracting the new coronavirus, two presidency spokesmen, has said.
Kyari, aged 67, had been treating underlying health issues including diabetes, until his death was a top aide to 77-year-old President Buhari.
With his age, it is believed that other terminal health issues Kyari was battling, coupled with the coronavirus complications, had worsened his case.
Kyari had been described in political quarters as one of the most powerful men in Nigeria.
“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.
“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” he said in a second post on Twitter.
Spokesman Femi Adesina confirmed the death.
Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, passes on. May God rest his soul. Amen. Funeral arrangements to be announced soon.
— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) April 17, 2020
“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” also said Garba Shehu, another presidential spokesperson, in a tweet.
The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) April 17, 2020
Kyari’s demise has become the highest profile death from coronavirus in Nigeria, which has 493 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Fifty-one new cases of #COVID19 have been reported;
32 in Lagos
6 in Kano
5 in Kwara
2 in FCT
2 in Oyo
2 in Katsina
1 in Ogun
1 in Ekiti
As at 10:10 pm 17th April there are 493 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 17, 2020
Kyari acted as the gatekeeper to Buhari. He travelled to Germany in early March with a delegation of other Nigerian officials for meetings with Siemens AG. He attended meetings with senior government officials upon his return to Nigeria.
Kyari had contracted Covid-19 coronavirus, the highly infectious disease, March 24, 2020.
President Buhari himself had also spent five months in London for treatments in 2017, for an undisclosed medical ailments.