Abba Kyari: Presidency explains why officials were barred from entering Aso Villa
- The presidency has cleared the air on the speculations flying around over why some senior officials were barred from entering Aso Villa after attending Kyari's burial
- Senior presidential aide, Garba Shehu, said the move was in line with the standard protocol, adding that those who attended the burial are to proceed on self-isolation
- Shehu added that being barred from the State House does not stop the affected officials from carrying out their official duties “digitally”
The Nigerian presidency has issued a clarification on why its senior officials who attended the burial of Mallam Abba Kyari on Saturday, April 18, were barred from entering the State House.
The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said the decision to bar those who attended the burial from the State House was a “standard protocol”, The Nation reports.
The senior presidential aide added that being barred from the State House does not stop the affected officials from carrying out their official duties “digitally.”
Presidency reacts to outrage over gathering at Abba Kyari's burial, says Aso Rock has been operating digitally
Shehu said the security operatives were observing standard security protocol, adding that those who attended the event were supposed to proceed on self-isolation immediately.
"It is true. It’s nothing that anyone should be angry about. They(security operatives) were just obeying rules. We have all attended the burial of a close friend in this season; anyone will know that after such occasion, you are meant to proceed on self-isolation. So, what happened was standard protocol.
“If you observed, we have mostly been working digitally, most of our works have been done digitally, in observance of the social distance advice," the senior presidential aide was quoted to have said.
According to The Nation, the officials were turned back for violating the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) protocols at the burial, especially social distancing.
Kyari who was President Buhari's chief of staff until his death arising from COVID-19 complications was buried in Abuja on Saturday.
Footage of the internment and the prayers at his former official residence have caused outrage among Nigerians on social media.
Many want those at the burial to be made to face the law for discarding the NCDC's directives on social distancing.
Those reportedly present at the burial include Mallam Shehu himself, the State House Chief Protocol Officer Ambassador Lawal Kazaure and the Special Assistant to the President, Yusuf Sabiu.
Others are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, Ahmad Rufai, the Personal Assistant on New Media to the President, Bashir Ahmad, among others.
Meanwhile, Daily Trust also reports that President Buhari has directed the State House staff and reporters who covered and attended Kyari's funeral prayer/burial ceremony to work from home for the next 14 days.
The directive was contained in a statement released on Sunday, April 19, by the deputy director of information, State House, Attah Eesa.
Eesa said the advice was a precautionary measure.
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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Mallam Shehu also made a clarification regarding the development via his personal Twitter handle, @GarShehu.
He said there is nothing extraordinary about people who attended Kyari's burial being advised to distance themselves from the Villa".
”There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attend Abba Kyari’s funeral being advised to distance ourselves from the Villa.
“This is in line with the standard rules put in place by the National Center for Disease Control, @NCDCgov and the Federal Ministry of Health. You do these things to stop the spread of #Coronavirus.
“For the most part, the Villa has operated digitally in the last few weeks. So, there is really nothing new to this,” Shehu further clarified.
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