Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday offered reasons why he thought the president did not show up at the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other military officers in Abuja on Saturday.
He said the President hates causing traffic gridlock whenever he has to leave the Presidential Villa for an outing.
Buhari’s absence at the interment of the military brass who perished in a plane crash last Friday in Kaduna, jad drawn a lot of criticisms from many Nigerians.
Speaking while appearing on an Arise TV program, Shehu said although he has not discussed the issue with Buhari, he knows the President hates causing gridlock and seeing people suffering as a result.
According to the presidential spokesman, Buhari may have stayed away from the burial to avoid innocent Nigerians being molested by security agencies to allow the president have his right of way.
“I was in Europe myself on assignment and I have not spoken to the president on this but let me give you just one example: the president is somebody who is so concerned about the safety and wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians on the streets.
“Do you know why he now prays his Juma’at in the state house and doesn’t go to the national mosque?
“Because he doesn’t like this idea of closing roads, security men molesting people on the road for the President to have the right of way.
“These are small things for many people but they are important for President Muhammadu Buhari.
“So, it is a mourning situation and the president didn’t want to take away attention from that.”
By Isaac Dachen
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