By Tunde Olusunle, PhD
I chatted with Barrister Abdullahi Nyako until about 9.30pm yesterday.
I will share snapshots of our engagements last night.
We banter from time to time about politics and similar issues.
Whenever I desired to pass a message to Waziri Adamawa and I couldn’t immediately reach him, I shared it with him and he acted promptly. He believed in my sense of judgement and objectivity.
Nyako and I came from way back at the beginnings of the Obasanjo/Atiku government, in 1999. Since I had other friends in the Vice President’s arm of the State House, notably Chris Mammah and Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, we spontaneously blended together. My elder brother, Olusola Akanmode was also with the VP as his Chief of Staff, (COS), so I had family there.
Whenever he hadn’t heard from me in a while and I sauntered to the VP’s section, he would hail me: “My brother before before!” It was his own way of complaining that I hadn’t been looking out for him. That phrase then became mutually useable between us.
The last time I saw him was on Friday September 9, 2022. Days before, Lucky Igbinedion, Kenneth Imansuagbon, were among Waziri’s guests and we had lunch together.
Nyako left the dining table briskly that day, earlier than the rest of us. Mukhtar Shagari, Adamu Maina Waziri, Dr Azu Ndukwe (Waziri’s longserving personal physician) among others, were there with the chief host, Waziri himself.
I asked Nyako about his unusual disappearance later and he told me that he had an appointment at the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS) for data capturing, prior to passport renewal.
Nyako and I worked together backstage to add value to the Atiku campaign. I wish he were still with us, he would have corroborated the fact that the appointment of Daniel Bwala as campaign spokesperson for Atiku, was my sole initiative. I had followed Bwala’s trajectory as a grounded public analyst and an articulate one at that. I made a note of his resignation from the All Progressives Congress, (APC), following the expressed preference of Bola Tinubu for a muslim-muslim ticket with Kashim Shettima. Once Bwala chose to come to PDP, I told Nyako to advise Waziri to strike immediately: Appropriate him and designate him one of his spokespersons.
He was also quite helpful in 2018 when we needed Waziri’s express approval to avail the son of Atiku’s erstwhile spokesman, Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, the scholarship he promised in his American University of Nigeria, (AUN), Yola.
An attorney who only read law out of interest in the twilight of his career in the civil service, Abdullahi Nyako was a gentleman par excellence. He was simple, unassuming, welcoming, humorous and professional. He had the finesse of a diplomat and an obviously calming presence around Waziri.
May his soul rest in peace.