A nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mamman Daura, has revealed that the late Abba Kyari could have been Vice President of Nigeria.
He recalled that he was recommended as running mate to Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to President Buhari, died of Coronavirus complications.
Buhari had released a personal eulogy the day his friend of 42 years was buried.
In a tribute, Daura titled “Abba Kyari: A great public servant”, he recounted that when a group of sponsors including Ahmed Joda, Philip Asiodu and Isma’ila Isa Funtua floated a new newspaper, The Democrat, Kyari was nominated and unanimously accepted as its Editor.
He noted that the deceased’s previous experience in the New Nigerian and education enabled him to run the newspaper with aplomb.
Daura recounted that when Hakeem Bello-Osagie assembled a team of investors and managers to help revive the collapsing UBA, Kyari was persuaded to join the group and after weeks of diligence, they acquired UBA and Kyari joined the Bank as a Senior Executive.
“Needless to relate, he eventually became the Bank’s Chief Executive and on retirement was persuaded to remain as non-executive Vice-Chairman. These times coincided with the country’s return to democracy and Malam Abba was among those enthusiastically espousing the cause of General Obasanjo.”
Daura stated that on his selection as PDP candidate, a group of women and youths in the PDP lobbied Obasanjo to pick Malam Abba as his Vice Presidential running mate and that after heated debates, Obasanjo eventually picked Atiku Abubakar.
“In the 2003 elections, Malam Abba was in opposite camps with President Obasanjo. General Muhammadu Buhari had declared his intention the previous year to contest the presidency and Malam Abba joined his team and worked wholeheartedly in all the campaigns through the drudgery and injustices of the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections without losing hope or sight of the ultimate goal.
“Perseverance paid off and in 2015, General Buhari under the banner of APC (an amalgam of CPC, ACN, ANPP and break away factions of the PDP and many other smaller parties) won the Presidential elections. To his great surprise, the President appointed Malam Abba as the Chief of Staff,” Daura said.