A handout image made available by the Nigerian State House shows the Nigerian president sitting beside his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari [File: Sunday Aghaeze/AFP]

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, the presidency said on Saturday.

Buhari’s office announced in a statement that it “regrets to announce the passage” of Abba Kyari, who acted as gatekeeper to the president of Africa’s most populous nation.


“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” the statement said. 

“May God accept his soul.”

Kyari, in his 70s, was the highest-profile COVID-19 death in the West African country, which has 493 confirmed cases and 17

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