Abba Kyari is dead.

Abba Kyari is dead.

President Mohammadu’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, is dead. Mallam Kyari died on Friday after contracting the new coronavirus, says the presidency spokesmen on Twitter.

70 years plus Kyari, who had underlying health problems including diabetes, was the top official aide to 77-year-old President Muhammadu Buhari and one of Nigeria’s most powerful men.

Presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu in a tweet on Friday, says “The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.”

“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” he added in a second post.

Spokesman Femi Adesina also confirmed the death.

Kyari’s was the highest profile death in Nigeria, which has 493 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

It was Abba Kyari who acted as the gatekeeper to Buhari when the president travelled to Germany in early March with a delegation of other Nigerian officials for meetings with Siemens AG. He attended meetings with senior government officials upon his return to Nigeria.