It is worthy of note that the demise of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, late Malam Abba Kyari has left a vacuum in the affairs of the government as he has left to answer the call of his maker amidst challenges bedeviled this great nation.
Being tested positive of coronavirus on the 23rd of March, 2020 and died on the 17th of April after been treated in Lagos, his death sparked up so many reactions among Nigerians and international bodies of course because of the important position he held in this administration until his demise.
Some comments were either positive, negative, or self-serving and that brings to question why are those who claimed to have been in friendship with him for decades not have defended or better still stated the true version of his person while he was still alive amidst bad press?
Why have those they built their career together kept mute when Nigerians were calling for his head?
Why the sudden outpouring of encomiums?
This minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has in his letter of condolence claimed that they have both been friends in the last 43 years after they met at Warwick University, both later moved to Cambridge University and finally at Law school Lagos and however cementing their friendship with their political affiliation.
I continued to wonder why someone that he trusted so much despite the fact that Kyari was a Muslim Kanuri and him Geoffrey a Christain so as to make him his best man at his church wedding and a godfather to his first son’s infant baptism were left defenseless when he needed broad shoulders to lean on.
In his words ” it broke my heart to see all the false allegations on issues of corruption. He showed me a safe in his office where he put any unsolicited gift. He was a man of unimpeachable integrity, absolutely incorruptible
Abba believed completely in the Nigerian project”
But my question is, where are these kind words of Mr. Onyeama when Nigerians were on the neck of Abba Kyari?
I remember the soothing words of the US, UK, and OPEC referring to him as a dedicated son and a public servant who exhibited a tireless commitment to his beloved Nigeria in their condolence letter.
Even his principal President Buhari was not left in this accolades of his friend of 42 years.
” A true Nigerian patriot, my loyal friend, and compatriot with focus on the development of infrastructure and the assurance of security for the people of this nation.
What a kind word that soothes the heart like the balm of gilead.
Mamman Daura whom so many refer to as Abba’s foster father disclosed while mourning Kyari that his friendship with the late Chief of Staff started 47 years ago while working with the New Nigerian newspaper and he knows him ” as a man blessed with the mountainous gift and uncommon attributes of intelligence, diligence, hard work, loyal to friends and worthy causes ”
He further disclosed his charitable attribute of giving his house in Maiduguri as IDP camp and catering for the welfare of several others.
Indeed this encomium is good to know, but are they not coming rather too late?
I know that coping with the overwhelming grief of a friend sometimes can be challenging as two friends cannot attend each other’s burial, but we must inculcate the habit of celebrating friendship while alive.
What is the essence of friendship when we cannot defend each other while still living.
Friendship should be celebrated every day.
We must always bear in mind that true friends are those who will be by your side against all odds.
Rest in peace Abba Kyari