A multitude of allegations has been levelled against the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari ranging from being an integral member of the manipulative cabal in the presidency to having no qualms about upturning some of the president’s directives and cornering juicy deals for self and cronies among others.
None, however, may be as despicable as the recent one by a coalition of contractors that out of pure greed and selfishness, Kyari may be sabotaging the fight against insurgency in Nigeria especially the prolonged Boko Haram menace.
One of the contractors who prefer not to be named said after being awarded a security contractor with the presidential seal, “Mr Kyari has refused to act on it. The file which has been minuted upon by the President for action has been lying fallow in the office of the Chief of Staff. We don’t know what he wants again considering we met all the requirements needed to work on the contract.” The aggrieved contractor said he fears that Kyari might be up to some hideous games.
Yet, another contractor who had won a bid to supply security equipment to the military said he had been visiting the office of the chief of staff for an update yet, Kyari has been evasive. “I fear that the powerful chief of staff may want to divert the contract to his cronies or fronts because there is no tenable reason why we shouldn’t have been mobilised by now,” the security expert said.
The contractors’ fears may not be misplaced after all. Since his appointment in August 2015, Kyari, a University of Cambridge-trained lawyer, writer and businessman, has never been coy about the powers that he wields in the presidency. There is hardly any picture of the president taken with guests or foreign dignitaries that he would not appear in.
On November 5, 2015 while declaring open a retreat organised by the Presidency for the then ministers-designate, the president declared that all communications and appointments from the ministers to the Presidency should be routed through the Office of the Chief of Staff. Sometime in 2016, Sahara Reporters claimed to have obtained a letter revealing how Kyari is using his office to further his personal businesses and contradict his boss’s anti-corruption initiative.
The letter showed him prospecting on behalf of Valiant Offshore Contractors Limited, a private business that is being fronted by the major owner of SeaWolf Oilfield Services Limited described as the single biggest debtor of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). Again, last year, Bako Kyari, who identified himself as a nephew of the Chief of Staff, had, on a popular radio programme, accused him and one Sani Ado, whom he claimed worked with the Bureau of Public Procurement, of collecting N29.9 million from him in order to facilitate the award of a contract.
However, Kyari said that there was no truth in the story and that he had instructed his lawyers to take legal action against ‘his nephew’ and all those who peddled it. He also said that no amount of mud “will stick or stain my integrity. I will continue to ensure that business-as-usual is unsustainable, ask questions and question answers – in the interest of our country, above any other consideration.” Bako Kyari’s allegation however bears some uncanny resemblance to the muffled accusations of the contractors.
Culled – www.thecapital.ng