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Panic in villa as Buhari’s top aide tests positive for Covid-19

Thursday March 26 2020

Buhari and his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari (seated) and his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari in 2017. Kyari has tested positive for Covid-19. PHOTO | NIGERIAN STATE HOUSE | SUNDAY AGHAEZE | AFP 

MOHAMMED MOMOH
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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Abuja

A top aid of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), causing panic in the presidential villa.

Following the news, messages of hope started pouring to Mr Abba Kyari, Buhari’s chief of staff.

But President Buhari tested negative according to results released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday.

The NCDC informed the president of the outcome of the results in Abuja Wednesday morning.

The situation has caused anxiety in the villa as members of staff and journalists in the presidency have been making frantic efforts to get the NCDC officials to have them tested.

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ISOLATION

NCDC has advised Kyari’s staff as well as those who have had close contact with him since his return from abroad to self-isolate.

Kyari is currently on self-quarantine at his residence and not at the isolation centre in Gwagwalada.

He returned from Germany on March 14 after he and the power minister completed negotiation on an electricity deal with Siemens to find a solution to the perennial problem of power supply in Nigeria.

ATTENDED MEETINGS

The top presidential aide has attended many meetings after his return from the trip last week.

The 82-year-old aide is reported to have started coughing during a meeting on March 22, 2020 at the Aso Rock Villa, fuelling speculation he could be having the virus.

Get well messages to Kayri from high ranking Nigerians have started pouring in.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian national assembly was shut indefinitely following information that a number of the lawmakers have tested positive.