The Presidency Wednesday explained why President Muhammadu Buhari was absent at the burial of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military officers who died in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday.
Buhari had been widely criticized, especially on social media, for not attending the burial which took place at the military cemetery in Abuja Saturday. He was represented by the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi.
Speaking on an ARISE TV programme Wednesday, a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari, did not want to cause gridlock.
He said: “I was in Europe myself on assignment and I’ve 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’re important for President Muhammadu Buhari. So, it’s a mourning situation and the president didn’t want to take away attention from that.”