Fame And Failure : DCP Abba Kyari’s Example


DCP Abba Kyari

By Frank Oshanugor

The common saying that success has many fathers while failure is an orphan can best be illustrated with the present circumstance in which Abba Kyari; a Deputy Commissioner of Police and former Head of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), once loved by almost every Nigerian is now a villain being despised even by his own friends. This is certainly an irony of life.

A few years ago up till last quarter of 2021 Abba Kyari was one of the most decorated Nigeria Police officers as he was garnering all manner of awards for his perceived exploits in pursuing hardened criminal elements in different parts of the country to the gate of hell.

His name had become a house phenomenon that sent shivers down the spine of Kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, cultists and so on. He was a nightmare to them and his numerous incidents of bravery and eventual success even in the most difficult of crime bursting assignments, gave him a larger than life image. He was already becoming some sort of god and a tamer to men of the underworld.

From his days as the Officer in charge of the now disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Lagos State Police Command, to his appointment as the Head of the Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari exuded some uncommon traits that endeared him to many Nigerians irrespective of their tribe, religion, profession or social status. He was seen in some quarters as God sent because some people’s lives had actually been saved by him and his boys in some deadly circumstances.

While carrying out his duties of crime fighting along with his teams at various times, there was no doubt of their occasional infringement on the rights of some people during which some abuse of power had occurred and a section of the civil society group had had occasions to bring such abuse to the public space. Ironically, the love or support of the populace to Abba Kyari’s tireless spirit of going to pursue criminal elements in any part of the country had often obscured whatever concerns the likes of Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma and their civil rights brothers must have raised about abuses of Kyari’s team.

In the media, Abba Kyari had a large followership as he was perceived to be committed to fighting crime. His team made headlines repeatedly. Indeed there were evidences of his outstanding achievements and he continued to win award of excellence from many quarters. A group like Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) having monitored his operational activities and excellent achievements in dealing fatal blow to gunmen who masquerade as armed robbers, Kidnappers, cultists and so on, had honoured him severally.

Some newspaper organisations, House of Representatives and even Wife of Nigeria’s President, Hajia Aisha Buhari had at one time or the other honoured Abba Kyari. To that extent, it was quite incontroversial that he was a performing office.

As common with any one on the corridor of success, Abba Kyari by commission or omission became a celebrity a good number of Nigerians wanted to identify with. His constituency of friends within a few years expanded to include many people in entertainment, sports, media and other social circles. Everyone wanted to identify with him and he, himself was also drawn into the passing fancies that came with such identification.

He was unrestricted in posing with everyone in photography. He cherished people and went ahead to fraternalise with them even beyond what an intelligence officer could have done. He took many things for granted not being mindful that this is Nigeria where the “pull him down” syndrome is the hall mark of public service. He could be seen in the midst of people, the sources of whose wealth were uncertain and questionable.

As the beat went on, Kyari swaggered on, believing in his ability to achieve more heights as a police officer whom many ‘fly by night’ prophets were already telling that they saw him as a future Inspector General of Police. Like any one of us, Abba Kyari had his ambition on the progressive side of life, but ironically he was unable to manage the spices that came with the successes he had achieved over the years.

He was probably not a student of history, otherwise he would learnt some lessons from the mighty fall of people like pioneer Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Police Commissioner Fidelis Oyakhilome whose epic career was almost destroyed by his fraternal relationship with Jennifer Madike; a drug suspect at the time.

His case was a classical fall from Olympian height precipitated by his weakness to draw a line between his personal and official relationship with those he came across in the course of his duty. His own fall was however, a bit different from Kyari’s as it was more of a romantic thing which eventually led our big brother Ray Ekpu of NewsWatch Magazine to literarily come to Oyakhilome’s defense in the most jocular manner. Ekpu had written in his column that Oyakhilome should not be crucified by Nigerians who were criticising him for falling for Jennifer Madike; a drug suspect. According to Ekpu, “Oyakhilome is an archtype of any man, and that when it comes to issue of romance, no man is superman.”

Back to Kyari, it is quite unfortunate that a man who had rapidly risen to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police at age 46 with great future ahead of him in the Police service could carelessly involve himself in ignoble acts that are only good for the enemies of Nigeria whom he was being paid to pursue. I feel personally pained that the love some of us in the media like some other Nigerians had for Abba Kyari is just fading away in this helpless situation where his two legs and hands are mired in the cesspool of evil.

It is difficult to believe that the man we had celebrated as super cop has turned to be the best friend of cyber criminals and drug couriers. This classic case of Fame to failure is quite injurious not only to the conscience of all those who held Kyari in high esteem but to the very imagine of the Nigeria Police Force he represents.

As it is now, there is certainly not much his former admirers can do to save him from the rot he has already found himself, because as a law enforcement officer he must have known that a day like this could come once caution is thrown to the wind. But in all, I pray God to show him some mercy.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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