Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, said on Monday that some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides went on interstate travels despite the ban on such movement by the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Shehu, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, said people are allowed to move interstate once they present a compelling reason before security agents at checkpoints.
The presidential aide was reacting to reports that the President’s Private Secretary and nephew, Yusuf Sabiu aka Tunde, refused to self-isolate after returning from an interstate trip.
According to him, “The Presidency has not failed. Don’t forget there is a caveat in that protocol. When travels are necessitated, they are permitted and even in the Villa, hardly do you have a day without somebody coming from their state whether they are governors and they come to do official business.
“Therefore, what is not permitted is frivolous and unwarranted travel. When it is warranted, the people can offer themselves at the checkpoints and once the explanations they give are convincing, they are allowed to proceed. I think this happens all over the country.”
Asked that only essential workers were allowed to travel interstate, Shehu retorted that human beings are the ones facilitating the movement of essential goods and must move.
“We follow what the NCDC and Ministry of Health prescribe. The difference the Villa makes is that there is an eye on everyone,” he said.
On whether Tunde, who is at the centre of the recent shooting incident in the Villa, would return to work today, Shehu said, “If he happens to be there, I will not be surprised and if he is not, I will not be surprised.”
Six security aides to the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, were arrested by the police last week following an altercation between them and Tunde, which resulted in the firing of gunshots inside the Villa.
Tunde was said to have recently returned from interstate travel and met with someone who was COVID-19 positive.
The first lady was said to have asked him to self-isolate for 14 days but he refused, resulting in the altercation, which almost turned violent with the firing of some gunshots.