Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the Nigeria President just died from complications resulting from contracting Coronavirus after weeks long battle to turn the tides. 

Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari and Abba Kyari

Late Kyari had widely been seen as one of the three most powerful people in Africa’s largest economy and said to have had complete trust of President Buhari. Some had even described him as the defacto head of the government and in some cases the Nigeria Prime Minister because in a country where the presidency holds an inordinate amount of centralized power and government funds, deciding who has access to an ailing president means so much power and influence. 


Along side the success story of the deceased, Baba Gana kingibe who is currently filling the void left by Kyari’s ailment as Stand-In Chief of Staff is a Nigerian politician, diplomat and government official who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs is said to have been a powerful behind - the - scene decision maker in the Buhari administration, alongside side the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. 

Ambassabor Baba Gana Kingibe and President Muhammadu Buhari

Baba Gana Kingibe served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1995, Minister of Internal Affairs from 1995 to 1997, Minister of Power and Steel from 1997 to 1998; and Secretary to the Government of the Federation from 2007 to 2008.

Kingibe entered politics in the build up to the transition of the Third Nigerian Republic. In 1988, he was made director of organization of the People's Front of Nigeria which consisted of politicians such as Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila and Rabiu Kwankwaso, which was then led by Shehu Musa Yar'Adua.

As party chairman, Kingibe was involved in the organization of party's gubernatorial and presidential primaries in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

However, after the cancellations of presidential elections in 1992 in which Shehu Yar'Adua was a candidate, Kingibe put himself forward as a presidential candidate. 

He lost the keenly contested primary conducted in Jos but after much prodding from SDP governors, he was selected by the primary winner, MKO Abiola as Vice-presidential running mate, creating a Muslim-Muslim ticket which was initially thought to be a deal breaker in the general elections. The pair won the electoral majority although the result was annulled by then president, General Ibrahim Babangida.

Baba Gana Kingibe was honoured the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), the second highest National honour in Nigeria, by President Muhammadu Buhari. If his profile and experience is anything to go by, then he should have no problem in clinching the job. This is however not always the case in politics. Several factors will definitelyolay out including issues of trust and how much the family of the president is comfortable with him now which also includes the back room power brokers. 

Back- Room Power Brokers


This considerations which is beyond just being qualified creatively puts Adamu Adamu into the picture and reading situate him to clinch the position. If it is trust and familiarity to the president, Adamu is the next in line after the late Kyari in the present cabinet. 

Adamu, who is presently the Minister of Education, worked as the speech writer of President Muhammadu Buhari between 1994 and 1999.

Malam Adamu Adamu and PMB

Adamu is one of the 13 ministers re-appointed by Buhari which shows the trust Buhari has in him.

For a couple of years, the Minister of Education served as a Personal Assistant to late Chief Soloman Lar, one of the original supporters of the PDP and its first national chairman.

He has been a loyal follower of President Muhammadu Buhari for years before the latter was elected the President of Nigeria.

Adamu was one of the men that accompanied Buhari to Bauchi State in 2007 to promote the candidacy of Isa Yuguda, a representative of the ANPP. Adamu’s consistent support of the current President of Nigeria led him to be marked as anti-PDP.

He was appointed Minister of Education by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 2015, along with 35 others, when the president made his first major appointments.

Prior to his appointment as the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had worked as the Secretary of Muhammadu Buhari’s Transition Committee.

Also before his appointment, Adamu wrote back page column for Media Trust’s titles and often syndicated by many news outlets including London-based Crescent International.

As debates continues on who who will replace Aba Kyari, it’s just a matter of time before we read from Femi Adesina now that Late Abba Kyari’s remain has been interned at Gudu Cementary in Abuja. 

Small advice from EI to his successor and all others in government - Live Well l, so that we don’t have to lie at your funeral.


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