The Presidency has explained that President Muhammadu Buhari failed to attend the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military officers who died in last Friday’s plane crash in Kaduna because he didn’t want to be on the road for Nigerians to be molested by security agents.
Recall that a cross section of Nigerians expressed angst over the President’s absence at the late officers’ burial at the military cemetery in Abuja last Saturday.
But speaking on Arise TV on Tuesday night, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said although he had not spoken with the President on the matter, his (Buhari) dislike for road closure during presidential movement could have informed his decision not to attend the burial.
He said: “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 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.”
President Buhari, however, spoke with Fati Attahiru, the late Army chief’s wife and spouses of other deceased officers a few days after the burial.