Abba Kyari, former chief of staff’s sudden demise has obviously left a huge lacuna in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and there has been an ongoing battle on who will take the mantle from where the late lawyer dropped it.
Kyari, considered the most powerful chief of staff in the history of Nigeria, died on Friday, April 17, at the First Consultants Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos after weeks of a battle with complications from Covid-19 infection.
The Borno-born lawyer turned politician was buried on Saturday, April 18, according to Islamic rites.
He was interred at exactly 11.20am at the military cemetery in Abuja’s Gudu neighbour hood amidst tears from family members and supporters.
Without any iota of doubt, Kyari’s death is a big blow that left a huge scar not only in the hearts of friends and family members but also in the Buhari-led administration which he co-defined with his piercing influence as the chief of staff.
And there are indications that in a couple of weeks, the presidency will announce the new chief of staff with top men including serving state governors and ministers, former governors, former ministers, senators appearing on the radar.
According to Daily Trust, the number of people jostling for Buhari’s new chief of staff rose to 37 as many APC members are also showing great interest.
The publication outlines those leading the race as:
1. Ambassador Babagana Kingibe
2. Senator Kashim Shettima
3. Adamu Adamu (Minister of Education)
4. Mohammed Musa Bello (FCT Minister)
5. Nasiru el-Rufa’i (Kaduna State Governor)
6. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (APC National Chairman )
7. Mai Mala Buni ( Former APC National Secretary )
8. Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali, retd (Customs Comptroller General)
9. Major General Mohammed Monguno (National Security Adviser)
10. Hadi Sirika ( Minister of Aviation )
11. Rotimi Amaechi (Minister of Transport)
12. Ogbonnaya Onu (Minister of Science and Technology Minister),
13. Nuhu Ribadu (Former EFCC Chairman ),
14. Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Former Lagos State Military Governor )
15. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar (Director-general of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency)
16. Abubakar Malami (Attorney General and Minister of Justice)
17. Lai Mohammed (information minister)
18. Baba Ahmed Jidda (Ambassador to China)
19. Faruk Adamu Aliyu ( APC party chieftain)
20. Sam Nda-Isaiah
21. Jalal Arabi, (former State House permanent secretary )
22. Isa Pantami (Minister of Communications and Digital Economy)
23. Garba Shehu ( aide to president on media and publicity)
24. Major Hamza al-Mustapha
25. Boss Mustapha (secretary to federal government)
26. Lt. General Abdurrahman Bello Dambazau.
Although no former process has been initiated for the selection of the new chief of staff, many political games are being played underneath within the presidency with Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady, also identified among big players who determine Kyari’s successor.