Lies become truth when people who know the truth keep quiet and leave the arena for peddlers of falsehood.
President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari is an extremely intelligent, unassuming and well-read man with a wide and deep grasp of issues. He serves the President very well.
He is a lawyer, journalist and banker by training and profession. He is diligent; known to read policy documents carefully but speedily, making corrections and seeking input widely from informed colleagues and relevant officials of Government before presenting it to the President for informed executive consideration and action.
Those who know his work ethic will testify that he arrives at the State House on most days well before most of the other members of staff and he is always one of the last ones to leave the office before heading to meet the President with various memoranda to be considered.
He is focused, meticulous and pays attention to detail. When tasked by the President to address an issue, it gets done, and quickly too. His meetings on any assignment he is given are crisp, focused and to the point, with results. His loyalty is to the President and to the constituency he considers Nigeria’s poor, silent majority, and it is total and unmovable.
Since his appointment as Chief of Staff, he has maintained the same spartan lifestyle he has been known for throughout his entire professional career, which anyone who has known him over the period will testify to. His signature dress is the outfit native to his Shua roots – white cotton babanriga and a red cap. This dress pattern is so closely associated with him that when he recently turned up at the Presidential inauguration in a different outfit, many thought he was absent as they did not recognize him.
He has no bias for ethnic background. Having studied for many years in the UK and worked for many years in Lagos, his closest friends hail from all over the country. Mallam Kyari is staunchly loyal. He will go to war to protect his family and friends, and first and foremost, Nigeria and its President.
His detractors are perturbed by his fierce independence of thought. He keeps things simple. He focuses on substance not form. He fearlessly protects the President from anything or any one he believes to be against the national interest, including groups and persons that have for decades used influence and access to Government to enrich themselves, at the expense of the national interest.
Little wonder, those who feel threatened by these noble qualities and his unapologetic socialist ideological leanings, cannot engage with him in ideological and policy discourse but can only publicly hurl lies, insults and unfounded innuendoes and accusations of impropriety at him in a desperate effort to smear his reputation.
Having watched the drama playing out from the sidelines, I believe it is time for those who know the truth to speak up. Whispers and innuendoes have been unanswered for far too long, and are gradually turning into a crowd baying for blood with falsehoods driving tempers high. This is wrong and must be stopped.
Those of us who see the country gradually and irreversibly becoming a place where opportunities are fairly accessible to everyone and where hard work and creative value addition are rewarded, must speak up and stoutly defend our elected President and public servants like Mallam Kyari who support him to get things done for the country.
Adekola Adeyemi,a policy consultant, sent this piece from Lagos.