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With the demise of the powerful Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, all attention will be fixated on who steps into the big shoes left by the powerful and meticulous Abba Kyari.

This is our pick of five top candidates to replace him.

Nasir El Rufai: He is not only close to the President but wields considerable influence in the Presidency. He has unrestricted access to the President and was even touted to be his Chief of Staff in the event he won the 2015 Presidency, only for him to run for the Governor of Kaduna State.

He is a proven administrator, highly cerebral and well educated. If he recovers from his Covid19 affliction, he may be the next COS.

Babagana Kingibe: Taciturn, camera shy, a master strategist and suave, Kingibe is known to be a smooth operator in the circle of power. He is believed to be a standby brain box for Mallam Abba Kyari and is a prominent member of the cabal.

He maybe drafted in to complete Kyari’s assignment.

Geoffrey Onyeama: smart, smooth talking, cerebral and a polyglot like the departed Kyari, Onyeama is one of the closest ministers to the cabal. He was personally drafted into Buhari’s Government by Kyari and his appointment may be a move to assuage the feelings of many Igbos who feel alienated from the centre.

Ibikunle Amosun: He is President Buhari’s right hand man. In fact, no politician in the South West, even Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is closer to Buhari than Amosun. He was former Governor of Ogun State but couldnt deliver his candidate after he formed a splinter party from the ruling APC in the state. However, his influence in the Presidency never waned as he carried out his senatorial duties.

Lamido Sanusi Lamido; If President Buhari was truly enraged by the decision of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to dethrone the cerebral Emir, then this is the time to compensate him. In terms of knowledge and experience, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is eminently qualified to hold the position, but his knack for standing by his opinions stubbornly as well as his independent mindedness may count against him.

Akinwunmi Ambode: He is the dark horse in this list. His cruel treatment in the hands of APC strongman Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and even the crueler way his name was purportedly removed from the ministerial list at the last minute may place him in good stead for the position on the basis of sympathy and his loyalty to President Buhari. He has an excellent track record in the civil service, a refined technocrat and lacks political baggage. He may just be a surprise appointment.

Notable mentions; Ogbonnaya Onu, Hameed Ali, Hadi Sirika, Babatunde Fashola

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