Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has noted that the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, should prove that the Novel Coronavirus is real.
The SGF spoke to journalists at the Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, on Saturday, during the final interment of the late Chief of Staff, calling on all Nigerians to see the message that the death of Kyari had sought to send out: that the COVID-19 disease is in the country and it is here to kill.
He also described Mallam Kyari’s death a personal loss to President Muhammadu Buhari, himself and the nation at large, recalling that the late Chief of Staff dedicated his life to serving Nigeria and the office that he was assigned to work from.
He, however, appealed to all to take all the instructions and advisories issued by the Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 Pandemic, the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) and the Ministry of Health seriously and avoid activities and circumstances capable of endangering their lives.
“There are very big lessons to learn from the death of Abba Kyari. One of the key lessons for me is that this thing is real and it has come home. How closer can it be to us than this? That is why I keep saying that we should not play with this issue, it is not a joke
“It has come to ravage our people, ravage our health and ravage our wealth as a nation so we must take it more seriously and the advisory that have gone out about social distancing, washing of hands and staying at home are not punitive, they are meant for our good.
“We have seen it now, that it has come home to us. If we were thinking of people who had passed on as a result of COVID-19 from a distance, it is not far now. It is just like a brother or friend or a relative that has passed on. This is a man we worked with on a daily basis, you see him virtually every day so it’s a big lesson that our people should not joke with this, we must wash our hands, stay at home, use sanitizers and follow all the advisories religiously,” he said.
Mustapha said although the disease was imported, Nigeria would deal with it because President Buhari had put all measures in please for successfully fighting and ending the scourge.
Meanwhile, the SGF had described the death of Kyari as a personal loss to President Buhari and himself, as well as a great loss to the nation, adding that the late Chief of Staff did a great job for Nigeria.
“It is a personal loss to me, the President and to the nation. I believe Malam Abba will be remembered for so many things. He has done a great job for the nation. Malam Abba was a very good man and very determined, intellectually upright and he had a lot of foresight.
“A lot of people didn’t understand Malam Abba but I worked with him for three years and I can tell you that he is a wonderful person, he is a good man; deep down in his heart, he always meant well and I looked up to him as a senior brother in the course of the work that we did in the last three years,” he said.
Speaking further, the SGF said one thing people didn’t know about the late Chief of Staff was that he had a deep sense of humour and was passionate about President Buhari’s legacies.
“If I show u my phone, you will see some of the things that he was sending to me even when he was confirmed positive with COVID-19, he was still sending jokes. Every piece of joke he picked up in the internet he would send it to me.
“He demonstrated a high level of commitment to his job and he had a passion for the legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari and in everything he did, he never cared who’s toes he stepped on, provided it was in the attainment of the legacies he believed President Buhari ought to leave.
“He was always very considerate. You might hold different opinions but he would drill the matter until he convinces you or you convince him,” he said.