By Muawiyah Yusuf Muye
Much has been said and written about the former CoS to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Late Mallam Abba Kyari who died On Friday, 17th of March, 2020 leaving a vacuity that may not be easily filled by any individual who will be saddled with taking over his vacant position.
Mallam Abba Kyari had tested Positive to the deadly COVID-19 Virus during a working visit to Germany in the company of the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman for a meeting with officials of Siemens AG in furtherance of the deal Nigeria signed with the energy company towards improving electricity supply in Nigeria. A trip Mr. President allegedly asked Mallam Kyari to lead himself owing to its importance to the overall energy reforms of the government. Alas, that was his last heroic outing for Nigeria as he died fighting to make Nigeria a better place.
Few days after his diagnosis from the virus, the Social Media was awash with so many fake news about his health status, but two weeks or thereabout into his treatment, new posts on Social Media regarding his status, with most giving the positive news that he had tested negative and I was relieved.
Relieved in the sense that a lot of unscrupulous Social media users had been peddling fake news that Mallam Abba Kyari had either died or his condition had worsened, but just like his Boss President Buhari who has had his share of health troubles, we were not new to these kinds of rumors; in fact, it had become an everyday occurrence. People knew how much of a Buhari and APC supporter I am, they would ask about how they don’t see Abba Kyari in action and I will always retort that he is probably staying away from the President until it’s 100% clear he had been healed of the virus, that was my assumption, unknown to me, he was still grappling with his health, nothing was heard of him again until his death. I was so shocked when I woke up to see a tweet from the Minister of Aviation, Mallam Hadi Sirika On Friday, 17th of March, 2020 Announcing the passing away of Mallam Abba Kyari.
Mallam Kyari has been the most vilified Public Figure In the Buhari Administration, which always bothered me because everyone knows of my staunch support for Buhari. The strongest point of the naysayers was always the vilification of some trusted aides of the president and the birth of the so-called “Cabal” in the Aso Rock narrative. Although I agree that anyone in a position of power requires trusted friends and allies who will be influential in their government, it just didn’t make sense that the narrative about Buhari’s Government throughout both the traditional and social media was that Abba Kyari was the de facto President and that a cabal existed in Aso rock and controls everything.
Sometimes, when debating with critics of this government, their strongest points is usually about the existence of what they see as a shadow government in Aso Rock and truth be told, it was something we didn’t have proper outlook or explanation for. It was painful because although I didn’t know Mallam Abba Kyari, defending him would’ve been as good as defending President Buhari, it was something I would have done with passion and my instincts never allowed me to believe all that was being said about him especially given President Buhari’s pedigree and my belief that he would never surround himself with the kind of character that was being painted in the media, Mr. President himself has had his name thrown in the gutter countless times. Even some of his biggest supporters fell victim to this sophisticated and coordinated campaign of misinformation and fabrications.
I have always advocated for good people of integrity, clear consciences, and a strong sense of patriotism to join politics and participate in building Nigeria of our dreams. Although the position Mallam Abba Kyari held wasn’t an elective one, it would’ve been hard for him to occupy it if he wasn’t part of the machinery that brought President Buhari to power, it then means, he was indirectly a politician, a technocrat who meant well for the country and one of those that really had passion for a better Nigeria damning the consequences that comes with Being a part of Nigerian politics and genuinely contributing to making Nigeria better, I knew he was always going to face a challenge of people running down his good name. This has always been the biggest challenge keeping good people from joining politics and that is what has allowed charlatans and some of the worst in our society to have such a stronghold on politics.
The former CBN Governor and Dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has expressed publicly how he will never participate in politics because of the fear of his legacy getting stained, countless others have also expressed privately that kind of concern. So we can see how the vilification of patriotic men of good character and integrity prevents them from participating in our political space.
President Buhari has been, without a doubt, the most trusted public office holder in Nigeria, at least, before he was elected as President in 2015, He was so trusted and loved, at a point it was scary because you couldn’t even explain the phenomenon, but the simplest explanation that anybody could think of was that it was because he is/was trustworthy, so if Buhari was that trustworthy, Why won’t his Judgements, actions, and appointees be so trusted? Alas, the love and admiration a large chunk of Nigerians had for him started waning because they fell victim to the image and narrative being painted in the media regarding the people around him. Hundred of thousands of people took steps back from supporting Mr. President just because of a vilified Abba Kyari, something that a lot of them are regretting now that the truth about the character of the man is out.
One of the biggest challenges we are facing in Nigeria’s political landscape is the shortage of capable men of integrity, those that tried to even participate in the politics or governing process to contribute their quota in making Nigeria a better place are usually maligned and their characters assassinated.
It is exhausting that while Mallam Abba Kyari was alive, he couldn’t defend or protect his name from getting muddled up in a lot of controversies, something that was being done mischievously to get in the way of the good job he was doing, and nobody felt it necessary to defend and help clear his name because although Mallam Abba Kyari might not care about how his image was getting battered, we could look at the bigger picture that it will dissuade other well-meaning good people that actually meant well and are willing to sacrifice to come and help rebuild Nigeria of our dreams from participating and this is one of the reasons Nigeria’s governing process continue to suffer.
It might also be possible that some of the bad things that were said about Mallam Abba Kyari might have some element of truth in them, because he is human after and bound to make mistakes, he might have even done some of them consciously, no human is perfect and his shortcomings can be forgiven as him being human.
Some people just don’t have the kind of thick skin Mallam Abba Kyari might have had and they would want to see that they are protected from those kinds of a malicious media campaigns, if the CoS to the President, one of the most powerful men in any administration couldn’t be protected from mischief and hate due to the false narrative in the media, it means we shouldn’t expect good men of integrity to start warming up to politics anytime soon as it’s not everyone that is build to withstand dirty politics
Muawiyah Yusuf Muye
Writes from Minna.