Life and Times of Mallam Abba Kyari (OON)
Chief of Staff to President Muhammad Buhari
In 1984, he obtained a Master’s Degree in law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and in 1992 and 1994 participated in the Harvard Business School‘s Program for Leadership Development.
Kyari worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo for some time after his return to Nigeria.
From 1988 to 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited, Kaduna.
He also served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno State in 1990s.
From 1990 to 1995, Abba Kyari was the secretary to the Board of African International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
Chief of Staff to the President
During the administration’s first term, he worked mainly behind the scenes to implement the president’s agenda.
In 2019 with Buhari’s re-election for a second term, he ordered his cabinet to channel all requests through Kyari’s office; further enhancing his influence within government circles, and being labeled as the de facto head of government.
In 2017, following a leaked memo, Kyari became embroiled in a public argument with the Head of Civil Service, who was later removed from office and arrested.
Mallam Abba Kyari was married to Hajiya Kulu Kyari; and had four children.
On 24 March 2020, it was made public that Mallam Abba Kyari tested positive for COVID-19 on 23 March, following an official trip to Germany nine days before.
He died on the evening of 17th April, 2020 at age 67 and was buried at Gudu Cemetery in Abuja on Saturday 18th April, 2020 in the presence of his family and friends.
However, it has been disclosed that late Abba Kyari died at a private “designated high care, biosecurity-compliant” hospital, known as First Cardiology Consultants in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.
He held the National honour in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).