The Presidency has announced that there will be no condolence visits to the family of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari.
The Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, said this in a series of tweets on Saturday, shortly after the remains of Mr Kyari arrived at the Defence House in Abuja for his burial.
“We just received the body of Abba Kyari, the deceased Chief of Staff the President in Abuja. In strict observation of the protocol put in place for the burial of Coronavirus victims by the NCDC, and the Federal Ministry of Health, the funeral prayer and burial will be private.
“Thereafter, there will be no such ceremonies as condolence visits.
“Well-meaning friends, family members and the general public are encouraged to pray for the repose of Abba Kyari’s soul,” Shehu wrote.
The news of Kyari’s death was announced by both Mr Garba and another presidential aide, Mr Femi Adesina, in the early hours of today.
According to them, he died on Friday, April the 17th.
Mr Kyari’s remains were brought in an ambulance to the Defence House in Abuja, where family members, as well as his colleagues, gathered to pay their last respect.
He was eventually laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery.
News that the Chief of Staff had tested positive for COVID-19 first broke on March 24, about 10 days after he returned from a trip to Germany during which he met with officials of Siemens in Munich on Nigeria’s electricity expansion programme.
He later confirmed the news himself, in a statement on March 29, the same day President Buhari made his first nationwide broadcast on the pandemic and announced a two-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In the statement, Mr Kyari revealed that he would be transferred to Lagos from the FCT for treatment and expressed the hope that he would recover and return to work soon.
At the time, Mr Kyari said he felt well and did not exhibit any signs of the disease, which has now infected 493 people in the country and claimed 17 lives, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
A Kanuri from Borno, Mr Kyari was one of President’s Buhari’s closest allies.
Appointed Chief of Staff in August 2015, he became considered one of the most influential and powerful members of the Buhari administration.
Prior to his foray into politics, Mr Kyari had a professional career as a lawyer and spent years in the banking industry, rising to become the Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) at some point.