The Presidency has offered an explanation for President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to attend the burial of Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.
Attahiru and six other military officers that died in Friday’s plane crash in Kaduna were buried at the National Military Cemetery, few kilometres from the State House, Abuja, on Saturday.
Neither President Buhari nor Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attended the burial.
However, Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi represented the President, although this did not dissuade many Nigerians from criticising the President for not attending.
Explaining the President’s failure to attend the ceremony, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said it was because his principal did not want to cause traffic gridlock on Abuja road.
“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,” Shehu told Arise TV on Tuesday.
According to Shehu, “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.”