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Abba Kyari’s Powers In Buhari’s Govt

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ElevateNews takes a look at the role and power of Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff in the present administration.

Chiefs of Staff are very powerful. Officially, they are the closest to the presidents or governors.

I was not surprised when President Muhammadu Buhari told his ministers to always pass through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari if they must see him.

I do not even expect Buhari to remind the ministers but because there are new ones now, the president has taken it upon himself to reorientate them at the retreat on Monday and Tuesday.

I think protocol demands that Buhari’s aides and ministers pass through Kyari to see Mr. President. He is the chief of staff for God’s sake.

As Lagos Statehouse correspondent some years back, I observed that the then Chief of Staff, Mr. Babatunde Fashola to Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was virtually assigning some commissioners to duties.

I observed that most occupiers of the chief of staff’s office are more into a personal relationship rather than political with the president. The position is bound by trust and not really about competence.

Except there is another minister that has wormed himself into the heart of the president, it may be difficult to bypass the chief of staff to see Buhari, now that he has even emphasized this.

I want to believe that the investigation of the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is because of her past faceoff with Abba Kyari. She was never forgiven.

Oyo-Ita had challenged Abba Kyari over the unlawful reinstatement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Pension, Abdulrasheed Maina. There were altercation between the two at the Federal Executive Council.

It took the intervention of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to settle the argument when Oyo-Ita accused Kyari of knowing about the reinstatement of Maina.

Of course, Maina had been removed from the civil service while the man who actually masterminded the reinstatement, former Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami is back as one of the new set for ministers for another four years.

Oyo-Ita who kicked against the reinstatement of Maina is here answering questions over allegation of N3 billion fraud. You don’t offend the cabal and go scot-free. Buhari’s directive at the retreat on Monday and Tuesday is just a warning signal to the ministers that they should be mindful of the power of Kyari.

There have been chiefs of staff before now but what makes the tenure of Kyari different is that he runs the office more like a cult. Buhari listens to him. The ministers and special advisers are more or less for ceremonial purpose.

Kyari knows the dossiers of all the ministers and can easily damage them if they will not dance to his tune. I can bet it with anybody that with Kyari still in this cabinet, the next level being proposed by this government is a mirage.

I can only pray that the Chief of Staff does not exceed his power to sabotaging the office of the Vice President.

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