Former military President of Nigeria, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on Sunday condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the demise of his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari.

Babangida, in his message to the President, described Kyari as a very dedicated, conscientious, forthright, roundly qualified, astute, and patriotic servant of Nigeria, NAN reports.

According to him, as Chief of Staff, he pre-occupied himself to always stand by you as a loyal staff, a friend, and an adviser, who always answered the call to duty.

Babangida said: “He was always ready to render you the necessary support in line with the policy principles and objectives of your administration.

“I have no iota of doubt that Kyari had performed all his tasks creditably to your absolute satisfaction believing in his capacity and competency, he was honest, simple, humble, and transparent.

“He always puts the people, the nation, and your good self first in all his actions and duties.

“Undoubtedly, you and his family will miss Kyari the most, as Muslims, we believe and accept that we shall all return to Allah, the Supreme Giver of Life.

“It is stated in the traditions of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, that whosoever dies as a result of an epidemic affliction is a martyr, and I fervently pray so it shall be for Kyari.

“I pray that Allah will accord him the reward and honour as a martyr.

“Additionally, Kyari also passed on one of the most auspicious days for Muslims, namely Friday.”

Babangida said that the President had lost a great ally, friend, admirer, and compatriot who served him and the nation with extreme loyalty and patience.

He urged the President, as a committed Muslim with a depth of faith and as a gallant military officer who fought to unite this country.

“Please, remain steadfast in the challenging tasks heaved upon you, our country, and people by the COVID-19 epidemic. I pray for the quick end of this deadly scourge,” he said.

He also prayed to Allah to shower His Mercy and Forgiveness on Kyari by placing him among the dwellers of His Highest Paradise.

“And to his immediate family, I pray to Allah to grant you the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss of a decent man with equanimity,” he said.