Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has died a martyr, former military president Ibrahim Babangida said on Sunday.
Babangida, in a condolence message to Buhari, said Kyari’s martyrdom is enshrined in the Quran.
“It is stated in the traditions of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, that whosoever dies as a result of an epidemic affliction is a martyr and I fervently pray it shall be so for Kyari”, Babangida said.
Kyari, 67, died in Lagos on Friday, from complications of Coronavirus disease.
Babangida also extolled Kyari as a very dedicated, conscientious, forthright, roundly qualified, astute and patriotic servant of Nigeria.
Kyari preoccupied himself with always standing by Buhari, as a loyal staff, a friend and an adviser, Babangida said.
“He was ready to always render you the necessary support in line with the policy principles and objectives of your administration.
“I have no iota of doubt that Kyari had performed all his tasks creditably to your absolute satisfaction believing in his capacity and competency, he was honest, simple, humble and transparent.
“He was always putting the people, the nation and your good self first in all his actions and duties.
“Undoubtedly, you and his family will miss Kyari the most. As Muslims, we believe and accept that we shall all return to Allah, the Supreme Giver of Life,” he said.
“I pray that Allah will accord him the reward and honour as a martyr. Additionally, he also passed on one of the most auspicious days for Muslims, namely Friday.”
Babangida said that the president had lost a great ally, friend, admirer and compatriot who served him and the nation with extreme loyalty and patience.
He urged the president, as a committed Muslim with depth of faith and as a gallant military officer who fought to unite this country, to “please remain steadfast in the challenging tasks heaved upon you, our country and people by the COVID-19 epidemic.
“I pray for the quick end of this deadly scourge.”
He also prayed Allah to shower His mercy and forgiveness on Kyari by placing him among the dwellers of His Highest Paradise.
“And to his immediate family, I pray Allah to grant you the fortitude to bear this loss of a decent man with equanimity,” he said.