Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has confirmed that top Presidency aides were denied access into Aso Villa on Saturday after returning from the burial of late Chief of Staff to Buhari, Abba Kyari, for violating social distancing guidelines by health officials.
The burial held at Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, was attended by a large crowd – most of whom had no nose mask or hand gloves on them for protection against Coronavirus.
This development violated the social distancing rule put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and exposed attendees including the Presidential aides to the risk of contracting the highly contagious and deadly disease, which claimed the life of Kyari.
In post on Twitter on Sunday confirming an earlier story on the issue by SaharaReporters, Shehu said, “There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attended 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 Nigeria Center for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health. You do these things to stop the spread of #Coronavirus.”
Those denied access include State House Chief Protocol Officer, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, Special Assistant to the President, Yusuf Sabiu, a nephew to the President, Musa Haro Daura, and Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the, Garba Shehu.
Others are National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ahmad Rufai, and Personal Assistant on New Media to President Buhari, Bashir Ahmed.