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State house official who served presidents for 25 years is dead

The presidency has announced the death of Tijani Yusuf, an official who served at the presidential villa in Abuja for 25 years.

In a statement, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, said Yusuf died after a brief illness on Wednesday morning.

Until his demise, he was a special assistant on special duties to Jalal Arabi, permanent secretary of the state house.

According to Shehu, Yusuf’s remains were transported for burial in his hometown, Minna, Niger state, after prayers at the Abuja national mosque.

“A very likeable and unassuming gentleman, Yusuf was known for his excellent administrative skills, most notably, his pivotal roles during Swearing-in/Oath-taking ceremonies of top appointees of the Federal Government before Nigerian leaders,” he said.

“In recognition of his meritorious services, Yusuf was given the national honours of Member of the Order of Niger, (MON 2006), and Officer of the Order of Niger, (OON 2012) after receiving several commendation letters including one from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Deployed to the State House in 1994 from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development, he rose to the rank of Director in 2013, and retired in 2016 after decades of serving several Nigerian military and civilian leaders.

“Following his mandatory retirement on the basis of age, Mr Yusuf was appointed Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary. The late Yusuf will be sorely missed by the Management and Staff of the State House.”

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