The chief of staff to Nigeria’s president Buhari has died of COVID-19

The chief of staff to Nigeria’s president Buhari has died of COVID-19
  • Kyari tested positive for coronavirus in late March after visiting Germany, forcing a string of top Nigerian officials who had been in contact with him to self-quarantine.
  • In a statement released on March 29, Kyari said he had been transferred to Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city, for private medical treatment and hoped "to be back at my desk very soon".
  • Kyari, in his 70s, was the highest-profile COVID-19 death in the West African country, which has 493 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

 

Abba Kyari, the trusted chief of staff to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has died from complications related to COVID-19 after a nearly month-long battle with the virus.

Buhari's office announced in a statement that it "regrets to announce the passage" of Abba Kyari, who acted as a gatekeeper to the president of Africa's most populous nation.

"The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19 and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020," the statement said. 

"May God accept his soul."

A Defacto head of Nigerian government

Kyari had widely been seen as one of the three most powerful people in Africa’s largest economy and said to have the complete trust of Buhari. Some had even described him as the defacto head of the government because in a country where the presidency holds an inordinate amount of centralized power and government funds, deciding who has access to the president accords immense power and influence.

The central government has extended the lockdown on Nigeria's economic hub Lagos and capital Abuja (worst hit by the disease) for 2 weeks, as a means of containing the spread of the virus.