Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu on Tuesday hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the funeral of the deceased chief of army staff Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other military officers because he did not want roads to be closed.
Attahiru and the others died in a military plane crash in Abuja last Friday. They were buried the following day.
Buhari’s absence at the funeral drew widespread condemnation from the citizenry, especially as he had only returned from France a few days before the plane crash.
Mr Shehu said during an Arise TV programme that although he had not spoken with the president about it, Buhari does not like “this idea of closing roads, security men molesting people on the road” whenever he is out for an event outside Aso Rock.
“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,” he said.
“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.”