ABBA KYARI AND THE ILLUSION OF POWER.
By steve anyebe.
Until he became ill on account of testing positive to the Coronavirus, Alh Abba Kyari held sway in Aso Rock Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power, like a collosus atop his estate. The Kanuri born ex-banker behaved like a dumb by choice, taciturn to a suspicious level, being felt more often than heard. He definitely understood the strength of Power, and wielded power like one who had had a history of savoury encounter with powerful state actors, consequent upon which he must have prayed fervently to Almighty Allah to avail him an opportunity to take his pound of flesh in his lifetime on earth. This opportunity presented itself with the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2015, and his own appointment as Chief of Staff to Mr President. From 2015 until his capitulation to death this week, Abba Kyari made no pretence about his influence over Present Muhammadu Buhari. The whole world recognized that the fear of Abba Kyari was the beginning of presidential favours. Nobody could reach PMB without going through Abba Kyari. Infact, the probability of achieving a goal, or currying a favour in the Presidency, was much higher with Abba Kyari than with PMB himself. The Chief of Staff was that influencial. In Nigerian parlance, Abba Kyari chanced everyone and everything. In my village most people would have suspected PMB Abba Kyari of having been under the influence of the spirits associated with anal oath, due to the inseparable bond between them. For avoidance of doubt and the possibility of deliberate representation, anal oath in my village is a mythical representation consisting of two or more people swearing never to disagree with each other, and to always support each other in all circumstances till death. The oath is then cemented by a ritual whereby each person licks the other person’s anus with his tongue. This is a typical story to attempt an explanation whenever two people are so attached to themselves in my village. The ultra confidence with which Abba Kyari carried on as Chief of Staff smelled of some occultic manipulation. So much so that at a stage PMB seemed helpless, with the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, crying out loud for being a serial victim of her husband’s Chief of Staff’s high-handedness. Mallam Abba Kyari, apart from being PMB’s Chief of Staff, was also known to be the head of the cabal in the Villa. This has been a small group of guys in the Villa who have practically decided how Government functions in Nigeria since 2015. The National Security Adviser had cause to lay official complaint against Abba Kyari who had been clearly overstepping his bounds by interfering in the security management of the country. But PMB simply told his NSA to mind his business. That’s one instance of how powerful the Chief of Staff was. There are many more instances. Nigeria is, however, not a country where State officials resign on account of official insults. There have been numerous rumours of how Abba Kyari had severally told Vice President Osinbajo off. But, like I said, they are rumours. Just rumours. The many cases of infractions against Abba Kyari (both officially and unofficially) simply remained unsubstantiated allegations. No investigation was ever carried out nor action taken. That’s how powerful PMB’s Chief of Staff was. He had the whole world in his pocket, it seemed to those of us who’s world starts and ends in Nigeria. The world was his for the taking. The world (Nigeria) rested on his slim but powerful shoulders. He, infact, was the real President. And now. All of a sudden, events have demonstrated that Alhaji Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, with all his powers, influence, and money, was but just a frail human being, subject to all the frailties of mundane existence. He was just as human and as weak as even the poorest Nigeria. At the nick of time we all turn out to be the same ordinary human beings who came to this world with nothing and will leave it with nothing. Many of us would have wished to be as powerful, rich, and influencial as Abba Kyari, despite our condemnations of his overbearing dispositions and actions. That’s nature for you. More so in Nigeria where values have become degraded to the extent that respect is progressively attached to financial standing. And nobody questions how wealth is acquired anymore. No doubt, every human being wants some respect. Power is key to respect in Nigeria, and financial wealth is the ladder to power. On its own, power poses no threat to humanity. It is what we deploy power for that gives it colour and definition. Abba Kyari, his powers, riches, influences, qualifications, certificates, style, are all gone now. This will happen to all of us at the Creator’s chosen time. What is of importance in the end will be the lessons we bequeath to posterity at our point of departure to the great beyond. What lessons can one imbibe from the life and times of Mallam Abba Kyari? Please reach me at email@example.com with your comments and responses.