Aso Rock Presidential Villa now has an ‘acting’ Chief of Staff (CoS) that has temporarily taken over the functions of late Abba Kyari, who died last Friday from Covid-19 complications.
Although not officially announced, ExpressDay learnt from knowledgeable sources that Mr. Abdul Mutallab Muktar, a Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Administration, has now taken over the functions of the CoS to President Buhari.
Muktar has been assenting to official communications of the Presidency emanating from the office of the Chief of Staff.
Although Muktar was doing this on behalf of Kyari while he was undergoing treatment in Lagos, the SSAP reportedly now fully signs official communications that Kyari would ordinarily had approved or directed to be signed.
It was also learnt that Muktar is a protégé of Kyari, who brought him to the Villa initially as SSAP on General Duties, and had worked closely under the late CoS since 2105.
It is however, not certain if Muktar will be confirmed in substantive capacity, as the search for Kyari’s replacement is believed to still be on.
The late Kyari was a trusted ally of President Buhari, courtesy of a friendship that spanned over 40 years.
Kyari was believed to have coordinated the ‘engine room’ of the administration of Buhari, who in a moving tribute, described the deceased as the “best of us”.
The President is now reported to be having a Herculean task of picking a fitting replacement for Kyari.