Abba Kyari: Almost Never Married…

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Abba Kyari: Almost Never Married…

Abba Kyari: Almost Never Married…
April 18
10:16 2020

Since 1999, Nigeria has had five chiefs of staff to the president: Abdullahi Mohammed, Gbolade Osinowo, Mike Oghiadomhe, and Jones Arogbofa, but none wielded as much influence as Abba Kyari, who lost the battle to the coronavirus disease on Friday.

Kyari did well to keep details of his private life well away from public eyes. TheCable has not been able to ascertain his age, although he was below 70 at the time of his death. His wife, Hauwa-Kulu – he referred to her simply as ‘Kulu’ – campaigned for President Muhammadu Buhari when he sought reelection in 2019.

Specifically, on February 7, 2019, she was on the team of Aisha, Buhari’s wife, when the campaign train visited the palace of the Haruna Tanko, the gomo of Kuje, in Abuja.

However, Kyari said but for meeting Kulu, he might have never been married. Interestingly, Kulu is sister-in-law to Tahir.

“Today, I am happily married to Kulu, my adorable wife with four children. Who is my wife? She is Dr. Tahir’s sister-in-law. I met her in his house. It was through him and because of him I got married,” Kyari wrote in the tribute to Tahir.


In his almost five years of holding the position as chief of staff, not a few controversies were tied to his name, even if he didn’t appear to speak to the press much about these issues.  Amid an allegation that the late Kyari was involved in a N29.9 million bribe to facilitate a contract, Garba Shehu had dismissed the claim, saying the deceased could not have been involved when he rejected a monthly N200 million allocated to his office.

Writing in defence of Kyari, Shehu had said: “…the amount allegedly given in bribe was also suspicious, as the office of the presidential aide had been known in the past to receive imprest of 200 million naira and above every month, with no one expected to give account.

“It was only since Abba Kyari occupied that position that things changed. In blunt terms, it is difficult to make a case of N29 million bribery against an official who spurned a monthly payment of N200 million to his office, money for which he didn’t need to account to anyone.”

There were rumours that he influenced the sack of Winifred Oyo-Ita, former head of the civil service. In fact, there were reports of a hot exchange between Kyari and Oyo-Ita at a federal executive council (FEC) meeting over a leaked memo but a week later, the duo shook hands and flashed smiles for the camera.

There were other presidential decisions tied to his name, and in fact, brows were raised following the appointment of Aisha, his daughter, as the assistant vice president of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Critics of the government had accused him of influencing the appointment but the agency absolved him of the allegation, saying Kyari’s daughter went through a rigorous process and emerged on her own merit.


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