President Muhammadu Buhari may have directed his new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari to cancel all appointments and approvals made by the late Chief of staff Abba Kyari without his permission, The Guardian report claims.
According to the report, no reason was given for the President’s action, however, reports indicated that no less than 150 memos without the President’s authorization may have been uncovered.
President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina declined to confirm or refute the reports by The Guardian.
In a response to a SMS, he said, “I’ve seen your text, I’ve seen your text,” and ended the chat when he was contacted via a telephone call on Sunday.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu also did not reply to a text message seeking confirmation on the development.
Kyari died of coronavirus in a Lagos hospital after testing positive to the pandemic during an official visit to Germany.
The death of Kyari came at a time his role as the alter ego of President Buhari’s Presidency loomed so large that some observers labelled him de facto president and frontline field commander of the so-called cabal.
Kyari had travelled to Munich, Germany on March 7, 2020, to sign an energy supply agreement with Siemens on behalf of Nigeria.
While questions were asked as to why despite not being an elected official or Minister of Power, the Chief of Staff had to perform such an important role, Kyari informed his close aides that he was on a national assignment to make sure that the power supply problems were fixed.
Those close to him explained that trip was evidence of his determination to ensure that President Buhari succeeded in delivering on his electioneering promises and as a patriotic move, just as some cynics accused him of hurrying to make some deals for himself.
Mallam Kyari, according to those conversant with the inner workings of Aso Villa, had his hand in every pie, because he was “leveraging on his sound education, brilliant intellect and experience in bureaucracy and business.”
But to cynical politicians and those who feel sidelined by his ubiquitous presence around President Buhari, always point out his limited success in journalism, banking and other sectors where he had held sway, to dismiss his patriotic and keen sense of duty.
One of the areas, which detractors use to criticize Kyari’s competence, was his stint at the failed Africa International Bank (AIB), which he presided over. His political opponents tried to define the late CoS as the architect of the negative public perception of the Buhari administration, they also contend that although every government throughout history is wont to harbour a kitchen cabinet, caucus or cabal, “the remarkable distinction is whether the kitchen cabinet is public-spirited or self-centered.”
Self-centered kitchen cabinets are usually rated so low, as such it could be on account of the public perception of being self-serving that Buhari’s kitchen cabinet was referred to derogatory terms as a cabal, especially going by what happened in the administration within the last five years.