How Kyari Almost Became Obasanjo’s Running Mate In 1999: Mamman Daura

Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura has recalled how late Abba Kyari was recommended as running mate to Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.

Kyari, who was chief of staff to Buhari, died of complications from COVID-19 on April 18,

In a tribute to Kyari, Daura said, “These times coincided with the country’s return to democracy and Malam Abba was among those enthusiastically espousing the cause of General Obasanjo.”

“On his selection as PDP candidate, a group of women and youths in the PDP lobbied Obasanjo to pick Malam Abba as his vice presidential running mate. After heated debates, Obasanjo eventually picked Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

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“In the 2003 elections, Malam Abba was in opposite camps with President Obasanjo. General Muhammadu Buhari had declared his intention the previous year to contest the presidency and Malam Abba joined his team and worked wholeheartedly in all the campaigns through the drudgery and injustices of the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections without losing hope or sight of the ultimate goal.”

“To his great surprise, the president appointed Malam Abba as the chief of staff. Fortified by the rigours of a Cambridge education and varied experience in banking, industry, investment and journalism, Malam Abba set himself the task of defining the role, functions and status of the chief of staff. He started by consulting previous incumbents of the position he could reach as a way of educating himself of the challenges ahead of him,” he said.