The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, has explained the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash along with 10 other officers in Kaduna on Friday.
Buhari’s absence at the funeral drew condemnation from Nigerians, who questioned his absence from critical national occasions and his perceived lack of empathy.
But speaking on Arise News, Shehu on Wednesday said, although he had not spoken to the President about the issue, Buhari is concerned about the safety, and wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians on the streets and doesn’t like the idea of closing the roads, security men molesting people on the road for him to have the right of way while attending the burial. He also stated that considering that it was a period of mourning, the president did not want to take away the attention.
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.” He added.