More revelations have emerged on the real circumstances surrounding the death of Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari.
Despite the Presidency announcing his demise late on Friday due to Coronavirus complications, SaharaReporters can confirm that Kyari in fact died on Thursday after falling into a coma on Tuesday and being placed on life support at a private hospital in Lagos which was finally taken off on Friday.
This fact was deliberately kept away from the Nigerian public by the Presidency to allow more time for consultations to arrive at the decision of who replaces him as Buhari’s Chief of Staff – a very powerful position in the administration.
Sources told SaharaReporters that several names were brought forward including that of Baba Gana Kingibe as possible replacement for the late Kyari but that First Lady, Aisha Buhari, opposed the move because she didn’t want another member of the ‘cabal’ to occupy that position again.
The ‘cabal’ is made up of President Buhari’s most trusted allies, whose presence in and around government has been crucial to the day to day running of the country.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) April 18, 2020
Some of them include Mamman Daura, Isa Funtua and Lawal Daura.
However, many Nigerians have blamed the ‘cabal’ for the problems the country was facing and the gross human rights violation that has characterised President Buhari’s administration.
“The Chief of Staff went into a coma on Tuesday and by Thursday was declared dead but the cabal didn’t want to announce his death then, instead they asked that the ventilator serving him be kept on until Friday night in order for them to prepare the ground for his replacement.
“They proposed former Vice President to MKO Abiola, Baba Gana Kingibe, but their plan was thwarted by Buhari’s wife, who insisted that she would not allow any member of the cabal to replace Abba Kyari.
“Her insistence led the cabal to ask doctors to remove the ventilator on Friday night when Adesina was told to announce his death without naming a replacement,” one source told SaharaReporters.
Though now laid to rest at the Defence House in Abuja, Kyari’s infection with the virus, his treatment at a private hospital in Lagos and eventual death were all shrouded in secrecy by the Presidency against public expectation and desire.
Known to be battling diabetes for years, Kyari contracted Coronavirus during a trip to Germany and Egypt in March and failed to embark on a mandatory 14-day self-isolation upon his return to Nigeria as advised by the Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
In the days that followed his return to Nigeria, he attended several high-profile events and meetings with state governors and other top government functionaries before the virus eventually took hold of his health.
Against the recommendation of health officials, Kyari opted to seek treatment at a private hospital in Lagos until he died of complications from Coronavirus.
Interestingly, this is not the first time the Nigerian Government would be hiding the health status and or true situation of a senior official in critical condition – Kyari’s experience queues behind a previous scandal in that regard.
For example, on November 23, 2009, Nigeria’s President at the time, Umar Yar’Adua, was flown to a Saudi Arabia hospital for treatment of pericarditis and was never seen in public again until his death was finally announced on May 5, 2010.
During the period he was moved to Saudi Arabia and the day his death was announced, Presidency officials fed Nigerians with all manner of lies with the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, at a point claiming that Yar’adua could rule the country from his hospital bed in the Asian country and so had no reason to hand over power to his then deputy, Goodluck Jonathan.
It took the courage and selflessness of then Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili, to come out with the truth about Yar’Adua’s situation.
Without Akunyili’s move, those benefitting from Yar’Adua’s death were prepared to continue to deceive Nigerians to keep their hold on power.