A legal practitioner, Mr Leo Ekpenyong, has described Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, as a man driving President Muhammadu Buhari’s fights against corruption.
Ekpenyong, the Managing Director of De Bongos Media was reacting against the barrage of sponsored attacks in the media and protests against the Chief of Staff, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
He described such sponsored protests as an attempt to malign his person, saying under a Buhari’s administration, it had been difficult for people, even those within the government to loot the country’s commonwealth.
“And Abba Kyari’s job as Chief of Staff to the President is not one that anyone should admire; it is a difficult one.’’
According to him, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu rightly captured the reasons for this when he said; “I will say that the problem Malam Abba Kyari has with most people is that he, like the President he serves, will not throw money at people in order to please them.”
“This is surely bad news for those who feel a sense of entitlement to the nation’s purse. In a country like Nigeria where most of the elites survive on government patronage, why would anyone be happy with a Chief of Staff like Abba Kyari.
“The reason is simple. Kyari has done quite well to protect President Buhari from some hawks whose negative influences have played key roles in wrecking many administrations in the past.
“If he was allowing them access to the loot, he would have been the best man for the job.”
Ekpenyong said to get back at him; they went to town with all sorts of false tales about the man.
“Unfortunately, they have built false hopes, believing that they can have the man cowed by sponsoring endless insults and criticisms against his person.
“AbbaKyari has ignored his detractors, focusing instead on helping the President revamp our ailing economy.
“As it is said, what makes a man tick is his ability to develop a thick skin against any unfavourable weather.’’
He said in the traditional presidential system, the primary function of a Chief of Staff, which might vary according to the needs and desires of each president, was to supervise key State House Staff and control access to the office.
“He is also to supervise the president’s activities, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.
“AbbaKyari’s tasks require professionalism and grit. It requires stepping on people toes. But worst, as the Chief of Staff, he doesn’t have the privilege of having to explain or defend himself when he comes under attack most times, for unjustified reasons.’’
Ekpenyong said Kyari had in recent times come under a barrage of attacks with the recent being his alleged misunderstanding with the National Security Adviser (NSA).
He attributed this to his compatriots who wrongly felt he was amassing too much power as Nigeria’s President Chief of Staff.
“Garba Shehu said as CoS, Malam has refused to keep cash imprest and has turned down a monthly grant of N200 million customarily given to the office. This is money freely spent because they were not required to account for what they did with it.’’
In recent times, there had been some protests against the President’s Chief of Staff including from some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)and coordinated groups loyal to the President, including members of the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO).
Members of the group are calling for Kyari’s removal, accusing him of running the presidency as a cabal.
It was also reported that some personal aides of the Presidency and staunch supporters of the ruling party have taken the protest to Twitter under the hashtag #AbbaKyariMustGo!