Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has said the late Abba Kyari, the erstwhile chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, made the supreme sacrifice while striving to ensure the development of Nigeria.
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Fashola, a former governor of Lagos State, stated this in a tribute on Sunday written in honour of the late Kyari.
According to the minister, the late chief of staff executed all assignments handed down to him by President Buhari with a single-mindedness.
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He said the deceased was not an individual who backed out of an argument, noting that he was mutual in his disagreements.
“He executed President Buhari’s vision with his own single-mindedness. One of his favourite quotes was credited to Jeff Immelt to the effect that “The job looks easy when you are not the one doing it.” He seemed to take a lot of comfort from these words when his actions were misunderstood.
“I bear testimony to his dedicated execution of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund Initiative (PIDF) which guaranteed funding to cash strapped projects like the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano Highway, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mambilla Hydro Project and the East-West Road at monthly meetings we held to review progress with Contractors.
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“Like all of us, Abba was flawed but he was not conceited. He was driven by conviction and never shied from an intellectual argument because his intellect was vast.
“We disagreed but I never found Abba disagreeable.
“Now that he has paid the supreme price in the service of the fatherland one good way we can honour Abba’s service and memory is to continue where he stopped,” the tribute read.
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Fashola added that the greatest way Nigeria can honour the late Kyari’s memory is by defeating the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – the disease that led to the death of the deceased – in the shortest possible time.
“I think Abba would love that very much.
“We must now undertake this assignment with a single-mindedness similar to Abba’s execution of his own assignment,” Fashola said.
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The former Lagos State governor commiserated with the family of the deceased and President Buhari and the Presidency over the loss.
He also implored Nigerians to observe existing health guidelines such as hand washing, sanitizing, wearing of face mask, social distancing and staying at home in order to stop the community spread of the virus.