The Presidency on Thursday evening broke its silence on the purported sack of ailing Abba Kyari, the influential Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speculations on the fate of the veteran administrator had reached a crescendo following reports and documents circulating on social media in the past few days.
Initial social media reports claimed that a statement purportedly signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, announced Abba Kyari’s removal as he could no longer function in that capacity in view of his current battle with coronavirus (COVID-19). The reports claimed that President Buhari had appointed immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as his new Chief of Staff.
The speculations further heightened when a statement allegedly signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, surfaced online, announcing Abba Kyari’s purported sack. The statement announced the appointment of former SGF, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, as Abba Kyari’s successor.
However, approached for comment by News Express, Adesina dismissed the reports and documents as fake. “Fake,” he wrote in reply to an enquiry by News Express, considering the matter unworthy of serious attention.
His answer aligned with that of the SGF, who speaking thorough the Director of Information, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Mr. Willie Bassey, dismissed the reports as “Fake news”.
He told a national daily: “Is this how we send our releases? Have you ever sighted a release ever written by the SGF? I am not aware of the claim.”
The purported SGF statement reads: “The termination of the appointment of Mr. Abba Kyari took immediate effect. And the President has appointed Alhaji Babagana Kingibe as the new Chief of Staff (CoS).
“The President thanked Mr Abba Kyari for his absolute loyalty to him and to the nation during the period he served as his CoS. He prayed to God for his speedy recovery.”