President Muhammadu Buhari was nowhere near the National Cemetery in Abuja, on Saturday, May 22, 2021, as the remains of Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, were laid to rest following a plane crash.
And Garba Shehu, who speaks for the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, says there’s an explanation for the no-show that was condemned in the strongest terms possible across all social media platforms.
“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,” Shehu said on an AriseTV breakfast programme, Tuesday.
Shehu said the president’s appearance at the funeral would have obstructed free flow of traffic and disrupted business activities in the nation’s capital city.
“Do you know why he now prays his Jumaat 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,” Shehu added.
The president put a phone call across to Fati, Attahiru’s widow, and the spouses of the other deceased officers, as the backlash reached fever pitch.
Attahiru and 10 other officers died in the plane crash of Friday, May 21, 2021.
Flags have been flying at half staff all week in their honour.
Attahiru was appointed Army Chief in January 2021