Nigeria apologises for ‘mistakes’ at president’s aide burial
The Nigerian government has apologised for “mistakes” made during the burial of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, who died from coronavirus, the BBC has reported.
This is after people were pictured in huddles around the gravesite on 18 April, not observing strict rules on mass gatherings, social distancing or personal hygiene.
Officials say it is not the message they have been giving to the nation.
Abba Kyari died two weeks after contracting the deadly coronavirus.
The Presidency’s Spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced the loss of President Buhari’s top aide in a series of tweets.
“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu in a tweet on Friday, using an honorific title for Kyari.
“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19 and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020.”
Mr Kyari, who was in his 70s had underlying health issues, including diabetes and was the right-hand man to the 77-year-old Nigerian President, who had himself struggled with his health in the recent past, spending months in London in 2017 to treat an undisclosed illness.
He became the second highest-profile West African to die from coronavirus. The Speaker of Burkina Faso’s National Assembly died from the disease in February, days after returning from a trip from France.