Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura
The late Kyari

Mamman Daura, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Friday a group in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recommended the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate ahead of the 1999 presidential election.

Daura, in a moving tribute to Kyari who died from COVID-19 complications last Friday, described the departed CoS as a very intelligent man who lived a very simple life and unlike many in his class avoided flamboyance.

He said:  “These times coincided with the country’s return to democracy and Malam Abba was among those enthusiastically espousing the cause of General Obasanjo.

“On his selection as PDP candidate, a group of women and youths in the PDP lobbied Obasanjo to pick Malam Abba as his vice-presidential running mate. After heated debates, Obasanjo eventually picked Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“In the 2003 elections, Malam Abba was in opposite camps with President Obasanjo. General Muhammadu Buhari had declared his intention the previous year to contest the presidency and Malam Abba joined his team and worked wholeheartedly in all the campaigns through the drudgery and injustices of the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections without losing hope or sight of the ultimate goal.”

According to Daura, the late Kyari stood firmly behind Buhari and his “perseverance paid off” in 2015 when Buhari won the presidential election.

“To his great surprise, the president appointed Malam Abba as the chief of staff. Fortified by the rigours of a Cambridge education and varied experience in banking, industry, investment, and journalism, Malam Abba set himself the task of defining the role, functions, and status of the chief of staff. He started by consulting previous incumbents of the position he could reach as a way of educating himself on the challenges ahead of him.

“He lived a fairly simple life and habitually wore a red cap, white clothing, and black shoes. He had to be forced by his friends to change the cap and he wore the shoes to the ground before buying a new pair.

“Malam Abba Kyari was a man blessed with mountainous gifts and uncommon attributes of intelligence, diligence, hard work, loyalty to friends and worthy causes,” the President’s nephew added.



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