Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum on Saturday mobilised internally displaced persons at different camps in Ngala local government to offer prayers to God for the repose of Alhaji Abba Kyari, the late chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Zulum said he received the sad news of the death of Kyari who hailed from Bama in the state at Gamboru, a border town in Ngala, where he passed the night, while on humanitarian visit to supervise distribution of food, cash and textiles to about 50,000 internally displaced persons in different camps.
The Governor had departed Maiduguri on Friday morning to Ngala where an IDP camp was engulfed in fire.
The the request of the governor, chief Imam of Ngala town, Goni Kadiri led a gathering of other imams and displaced persons to offer prayers of forgiveness and eternal peace in favour of the deceased.
A statement by Malam Isa Gusau, the spokesman to the Governor on Friday quoted the governor to have said: “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajiun (from Allah we all come from and to him we shall all return). We have lost one of our own, Alhaji Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the President.
“It is a big loss to us because Borno has just lost a rock. I was really shocked by news of his demise. I last spoke with him exactly weeks ago and he was in good spirit. I share the grieves of his immediate family, His Excellency, Mr President and the Presidency as well as his larger family, the people of Borno state.
“Alhaji Abba Kyari was a good man that was misunderstood by many people and whatever it is, his appointed time has come and every human will one day die, no matter how long we live and for this divine reason, good people or those with wisdom, do not celebrate the death of anyone.
“I urge all of us here to pray for one of our own. Someone who was sincerely passionate about the fight against Boko Haram towards peace-building and restoration in Borno state, the northeast and Nigeria.
“I will like this gathering of Imams to lead prayers for the late chief of staff to have eternal peace. May Allah forgive his shortcomings, admit him into aljanna and give his family, other loved ones and the people of Borno state the fortitude to bear his demise.”
The Governor had made similar call at different IDP camps in both Ngala and Gamboru towns when he addressed displaced persons.
The governor immediately shelved his initial plan of spending three days in Ngala local government area for both food distribution and the foundation laying of some projects.
But in order to address some humanitarian needs of IDPs, he went round all the camps to ensure measures were put in place for the state emergency management and other assigned officials to continue with transparent distribution of N5,000 cash and wrappers to each of 25,000 women as well as bags of food varieties to 20,000 male heads of households.
The governor had on arrival in Ngala town on Friday visited a large camp for IDPs to sympathize with families of persons who lost their lives and those injured in the fire incident that ravaged the caping killing 14 persons and injuring 15.
In a similar development, the governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, sent the condolence of the government and people of Yobe state to President Muhammadu Buhari, the family, government and people of Nigeria over the death of Alhaji Abba Kyari.
The Governor, in a statement signed on Saturday by his spokesman, Mallam Mamman Mohammed, described the death of Abba Kyari as a huge loss not just to his family and the presidency but also to the government and the nation.
Buni said the late chief of staff was an astute administrator and a great patriot, who dedicated his life to the service of the nation.
He said Kyari “will be remembered for his commitment to good governance, transparency, due process and patriotism.”
The Governor prayed almighty Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him eternal rest.
He also prayed to Allah to give his family, the president, government and the people of Nigeria the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.