When I first came in contact with Abba Kyari before he was appointed the chief of staff to the President my initial impression about him was a mixed feeling.
His unassuming posture endeared him in my mind while the state of his feeble physical appearance gave me the discomfort he may not stand the rigour of the office.
Like always when I am faced with some complex situations I try to engage and compare notes with my mentor, as I find him to be very objective not judgemental. He gives his honest assessment of issues even if it does not effect him.
He shrugged and smiled at my comment but later turned to me and said give Abba some time he is capable, of conquering and dominating his environment. He added by saying the guy is brilliant, hardworking and sneaky. I was relieved because that is the quality of the person you require for the job.
I usually don’t doubt his assessment on an issues. I hold on to whatever he tells me seriously. My mentor is never flippant, brutally frank and honest that is why many people are not at home with him.
With this information, I tried to know more about Abba Kyari. I googled the internet to know his antecedents. I was shocked with what I saw. From then onwards I started under studying the gentleman.
Sorry, l did not tell you at that time, I was working under the office of the Vice President office as a Director, Abba has just been appointed the chief of staff to the President. In no time he took control and proved my mentor right, since then he keeps surprising in respective of what people say or write about him. His major sin is, he likes his people, who wouldn’t?
The office of the Chief of Staff is central to the Presidency. It is the clearing house for all communications in and out of the Villa. It is the last bus stop for anyone who would like to engage with the President.
The appointments and schedules of the President are handled by the office. The holder of that office, must to some extent know the President well for him to function effectively. That is why appointment to the office is personal to the President. It does not go through Parliamentary or Party considerations. We know it is appointments season but let us not destroy someone for self aggrandisement.
I was amazed when I saw on television that some group who call themselves Concerned APC National Stakeholders (CANS), were demonstrating calling on President Muhammad Buhari to sack the chief of staff.
The reason the group gave for the removal of the Abba, he is part of the cabal.
The President through his Presidential aide, Garba Shehu, came and said “the demonstration will change nothing as Buhari alone will decide who he will work with and who he will sack. The demonstrators must know this and put it in their thick sculls and save the us from their rantings.
That is what expected to come from the Presidency. Why are this group calling for the removal of Abba? I am sure they don’t understand the role of Abba in the system.
The office of the chief of staff is strategic. It processes and plans the calendar of the President.
It analyse all issues that requires the consideration of the President. It does so by consulting and subjecting matters requiring consideration through extant rules and due process to aid the President take informed decision.
His main duty is advisory based on facts devoid partisanship. The President always takes the final decision.
In all Presidency be it in Nigeria or anywhere, we have what we call the “President’s Men”. Under this group are layers of personal advisers depending on their interactions with the President. You always hear nomenclatures such as the kitchen cabinet members, the cabal etc.
The President, also have other non visible advisers, the public does not know of, who are central in the process of decision making.
Unfortunately, Abba does not belong to those group. He is the face of the President, that is why he gets the bashing and called all sorts of names.
Remove Abba today, the next person who comes on board will suffer similar accusations. The crime of Abba, he is just doing his job, doing the things the President wants him to do.
Remember during Jonathan era, when similar interest groups and the mass media, were shouting, demanding for the removal of the then Chief of Staff Mr. Aiyegbeni Oghiadome, calling him all sorts of names.
The former President succumbed to the pressure. No sooner he was removed, the phantom accusations went with the winds because they were bunches of lies, fabricated just to get him out.
Remember Yar Adua, inherited his Chief of Staff from Gen.Obasanjo, Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed. When he was removed the office was closed. Tanimu took over as the Principal Private Secretary, to the President doing the same job of the Chief of Staff. I don’t have to you remind how he was treated.
I am glad the President responded so quickly by nipping the bud so early, it would have distracted him from choosing a good cabinet and attending to other state matters confronting him.
Worry not Abba, those behind the demonstration would soon be uncovered and exposed for who they are, continue with your good work. Good luck.