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Presidential aides denied access to Aso Villa for violating NCDC’s guidelines


As HURIWA Calls For Quarantining Of Funeral Attendees

Some top aides of President Muhammadu Buhari have been denied access into the Presidential Villa in Abuja, after returning from the burial of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, yesterday.

The affected aides 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 President, 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, among others.


The burial at Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, was attended by hundreds of mourners, who failed to observe social distancing, with most of them not wearing their face masks appropriately.

This development violated the social distancing rule put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and exposed attendees, including the Presidential aides to the risk of contracting the highly contagious and deadly disease, which claimed Kyari’s life.

The event had been condemned by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), which called on the NCDC to trace and place on quarantine for 14 days every one of the mammoth crowd that witnessed the last funeral rites carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health for the departed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari, who passed on Friday. 

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, yesterday, Garba Shehu, who announced that the burial would be solemn and strictly private, was seen on a live television broadcast of the burial, which was a carnival-like atmosphere.


HURIWA also criticised the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was also at the Defence House in Maitama with a lot of mourners that accompanied the remains to the final resting place. 

HURIWA said: “Whilst we join the rest of the country in sending our condolences to the bereaved family members of the late Chief of Staff and also send our sincerest condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari on the loss of his able lieutenant, we wish to remind government that good governance standards ought to be complied with totally and unreservedly at all times by all and sundry in Nigeria…”

The rights group said it was wrong to convey the impression to the rest of the Nigerian public that the laws and regulations are not supposed to be complied with by members of the ruling class or affiliates of those in corridors of power. 

“For the sake of public safety and public good, we urge the Presidential task force chairman, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, to self-isolate for 14 days and for the NCDC to trace and send to the isolation centre hundreds of persons who attended the burial of the Chief of Staff in clear violation of the extant laws regulating conduct of funerals during the health emergency, brought upon us by the rampaging Coronavirus…

“Government must be seen to follow to the letter all the well thought out regulations mapped out for public good at this time, pending relaxation of the lockdown order by the Federal Government…”


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