Mamman Daura, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, says Abba Kyari was recommended as running mate to Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
Obasanjo was president from 1999 to 2007.
Kyari, who died of complications from COVID-19 on April 17, was chief of staff to Buhari.
In a tribute, Daura described Kyari as an intelligent man who could have been the second in command when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.
“These times coincided with the country’s return to democracy and Malam Abba was among those enthusiastically espousing the cause of General Obasanjo,” Daura said.
“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.
Obasanjo eventually picked Atiku as his running mate in 1999
“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.”
Daura said the late Kyari stood firmly behind Buhari and his “perseverance paid off” in 2015 when Buhari won the presidential election.
“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.
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