Ever since the announcement of Abba Kyari as the new Chief of Staff to the President was made, we’ve seen some folks of the google age confusing him with other personalities with similar name. Some bloggers aren’t helping matters either. They’re the main propagators of the confusion.
In case you don’t know, there are three different people answering that name in the public space in Nigeria. It’s not unusual that such occur especially in Northern Nigeria. I know three different people by the name Yusuf Ali for example. You’ll recall the mistaken identity situation that heralded the announcement of the manifest of the ill-fated Dana Air crash in 2012. People had already started paying condolence visits to the residence of the Yusuf, an Ilorin-Born Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). We also have a Yusuf Ali as an Editor with The Nation Newspaper. Neither of them was on the flight. It’s definitely another Yusuf Ali. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kyari’s identity is getting people confused.
The Three Abba Kyaris
One is a retired Brigadier in the Nigerian Military
Two is a top ranking serving officer of the Nigerian Police Force in Lagos
Three is a seasoned administrator with over 30years experience in the private sector.
Brigadier Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari (born 1938) is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier who served as Governor of the now defunct North-Central State, Nigeria after it was formed from the Northern Region during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon.
Abba Kyari was born in 1938. He attended Borno Middle School and Barewa College, Zaria. In 1959 he enlisted in the Nigerian Army as an Officer Cadet. He attended the 12th Regular Officers’ Training School, Teshia, Ghana (March 1959 – September 1959) and then the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England (October 1959 – March 1960). He held various appointments in the army, including Platoon Commander and then Transport Offices in the 1 Brigade Transport Company, Second-in-Command and then Commander in the Nigerian Army Artillery, commander of 1 Brigade, Kaduna and Commanding Officer 5th Battalion, Nigerian Army, Kano.
During the outbreak of violence against the Igbo people in Northern and Central Nigeria in 1966, Abba Kyari assisted Igbo soldiers in escaping from Kaduna, including Major Samuel Ogbemudia, who later was appointed Governor of Mid-West State in September 1967 following the state’s liberation from secessionist Biafran forces. General Yakubu Gowon appointed Colonel Kyari Governor of North-Central State in July 1967. As governor, he commissioned a master plan for the Kaduna metropolis, but in practice the plan was not followed by his successors. He was not tolerant of the free press. For example, in April 1975 he strongly attacked the New Nigerian for publishing a picture of officers attending a conference that mainly showed junior officers. Towards the end of Gowon’s administration, Kyari was a cautious advocate of return to civilian rule.
Kyari led the Northern delegates to the 1994 National Constitutional Conference, and was appointed Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the conference. After retiring, he was appointed to the board of directors of First Bank of Nigeria, Standard Alliance Insurance and Merchant Bank of Commerce. He became Chairman of Gamah Flour Mills and of Alif Engineering and Construction.
Superintendent Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari, is a Superintendent of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, currently serving at the Lagos State Police Command, in the capacity of the Officer-In-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, an outfit reputed for combating violent crimes ranging from armed robbery, car theft, kidnapping , gang clashes, sea piracy and terrorism.
Kyari, a Kanuri by tribe, is a native of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. He was born on March 17, 1975, into the family of Alhaji Baba Kyari, at the metropolitan city of Maiduguri, Borno State. He had his primary and secondary education, at the University of Maiduguri Staff Primary School and Government College Maiduguri, where he obtained his Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate, SSCE. He gained admission into the University of Maiduguri in 1993 and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Geography in 1997. Afterwards, he proceeded on his compulsory National Youth Service, NYSC, and was attached to 6th Motorized Infantry Battalion of the Nigeria Army, at Igbawa Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Kyari, got enlisted into the NPF in the year 2000, with the rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, and was trained at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil Kano, Kano State. He was subsequently posted to the Adamawa State Police Command, on a one year attachment, from January 2002 to 2003, and was later deployed to Numan town Police Division, Adamawa State, where he served as the Divisional Crime Officer, DCO, between the year, 2003 to 2005. He performed excellently, most notable, was the arrest of a notorious armed robber, known as Ingili, who have held Numan Town hostage for many years. He was later drafted into the Police Mobile Force, PMF, and was attached to PMF 14 Squadron Command Yola, where he served as a Unit Commander from 2005 to 2010. In 2007, Kyari , as a Unit commander, was deployed on a special duty tour to the Rapid Response Squad, RRRS, of the Lagos State Police Command, between 2007 to 2010. During his redeployment from the RRS, the then Commander, Hakeem Odumusu, in a letter to Inspector General of Police recommended that Abba Kyari, should be deployed fully to the Lagos State Police Command, for having served the state with distinction and high dedication.
Subsequently, Kyari got demobilized into a conventional police, in 2010 when he attained the rank of a Superintendent of Police and was transferred to the Lagos State Police Command. He was posted to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, as the second officer-in-charge and later, he became the officer in-charge, a position he held till date.
Abba Kyari, the new Chief of Staff
Abba Kyari obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Warwick, England, in 1980. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law from the University of Cambridge, England and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983. In 1984, he obtained a Masters’ Degree in Law from his alma-mater, the University of Cambridge.
Between 1988 and 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited Kaduna, (publishers of Democrat Newspapers). He served with the Borno State Executive Council as Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in 1990 and was Secretary to the Board of African International Bank Limited, between 1990 and 1995.
He attended the International Institute for Management Development at Lausanne, Switzerland, and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994 respectively.
Abba Kyari was Executive Director, Management Services, United Bank for Africa Plc. (UBA) and later the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Bank. He was appointed a Director of Unilever Nigeria Plc. in 2002.
He served as Honorary Member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Investment in Nigeria between 2000 and 2005. He is a recipient of the Nigerian Honor Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (O.O.N).