Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has barred any form of condolence visit to the Presidential Villa over the death of his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
Kyari’s death was announced on Friday by the Presidency after he succumbed to Coronavirus at a private hospital in Lagos where he had been receiving treatment.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said that every Nigerian must adhere to the social distancing rule of the country’s health officials to help curb the spread of the virus in the country.
He said in the event of no condolence visits, Nigerians should pray for God’s intervention to end the pandemic in the country.
The statement reads, “On the sad occasion of the demise of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff, the President has directed on three things.
“First, that this tribute be issued in recognition of the enormous sacrifices and contributions made by the deceased to the success of his politics and administration and to the overall development of the nation.
“Second, the President wishes to direct strict observance of the social distancing rules as prescribed by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Health and other safe hygiene practices as advised by relevant local authorities.
“In this regard, the President will not be available for condolence visitors but urges in place of that prayers be offered for the repose of soul of the departed Chief of Staff.
“Third, the President wishes to convey his deep appreciation to foreign leaders and all Nigerians from whom a stream of messages have been reaching him over this irreparable loss.”
In a tribute to Kyari, Buhari said his long-time ally was the “best of us” and a loyal administrator, whose contribution to the development of Nigeria will be sorely missed.
Buhari said, “My loyal friend and compatriot for the last 42 years - and latterly my Chief-of-Staff - he never wavered in his commitment to the betterment of every one of us. He was only in his twenties when we first met.
“Abba's true focus was always the development of infrastructure and the assurance of security for the people of this nation he served so faithfully.
“Mallam Abba Kyari was the very best of us. He was made of the stuff that makes Nigeria great. Rest in Peace, my dearest friend.”