Coronavirus or covid-19 has claimed the life of one of Nigeria’s most powerful men. The chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari, is no more.

Rumours of his death had circulated in Nigeria for at least one week before a confirmation came late Friday night from Aso Rock. Special adviser to the president on media and publicity Femi Adesina tweeted, “Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, passes on. May God rest his soul. Amen. Funeral arrangements to be announced soon.”

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Kyari was reported to have tested positive for covid-19 in March by online newspaper Sahara Reporters. Subsequently he was quarantined and he underwent treatment. The presidency did not issue a statement confirming or denying the story.

Even while announcing Kyari’s demise, the presidency failed to state the time he died or where he died.

Kyari’s boss President Muhammadu Buhari is sure to grieve deeply over the loss of his longtime friend and confidant. The nation will, for a long time, mourn a strong leader who was also a kingmaker.

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