Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, has described the deaths of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; and the late Ismaila Isa Funtua, a newspaper proprietor, as disturbing.
Kyari, died on 17 April of complications arising from the COVID-19, while Funtua died of cardiac arrest on 20 July.
Speaking in an interview on Saturday, Daura said the late men were his close associates of over 40 years.
He said Kyari, who he worked with when he was Editor and Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspaper, and Funtua, who co-established the Funtua Textile Mills with him, provided immeasurable services to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Truly, it (death of two intimate friends) was very disturbing. These two great personalities, aside from being my friends were my close associates, Daura told he Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
“What they did for the government since they came in – Malam Ismailia Isa by the side while Abba Kyari in the centre, how they worked for this government was beyond our thought. May Almighty Allah have mercy on them.
“They were close associates, not blood relations. Close associates due to our long term relationship.”
Daura provided more details on how he and the late Funtua established the Funtua Textile Mills, which he said has outlived other textile companies in the country.
“After leaving New Nigerian, and retired as a Managing Director, I became the Director of United Nigeria Textile Limited, UNTL.
“It’s 40 years now. He was the Personnel Manager there. That was when we worked together and became intimate.
“Together, we established Funtua Textiles, close to Mairua Dam. All textile mills that were established at that time have all closed down. The ones in Lagos. Kaduna and Kano, at one point or the other, have stopped production but Funtua Textiles has been in operations in the last 40 years,” he said.