Facts have emerged on why Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, was advised to stay away from the burial of his late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, which took place in Abuja on Saturday (today).
Kyari, who had a history of diabetes and was in his 70s, died at a private hospital in Lagos on Friday owing to complications from Coronavirus.
He contracted the deadly virus after trips to Germany and Egypt where the pandemic had claimed hundreds of lives.
SaharaReporters gathered that Buhari was asked to stay away for safety reasons especially considering the highly contagious nature of Coronavirus and the damage it can do to persons in his age bracket.
Buhari has a yet to be disclosed medical ailment and in fact spent five months in London in 2017 for treatment.
He has visited the UK several times more since that period for treatment.
Therefore, the advice for him to stay away from Kyari’s burial was for the safety of his health, SaharaReportersgathered.
Apart from Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, did not also attend the ceremony, which took place at the Defence House in Abuja.
Also, other top Nigerian Government officials including ministers, lawmakers and even leading members of the ruling All Progressives Congress all shunned Kyari’s burial for fear of contracting the virus.
Many top government officials contacted by the Presidency to attend the solemn ceremony aimed at giving Kyari a befitting ‘last respect’ all politely turned down the invite over the safety of their health.
As a result of the situation, the Presidency, through a statement by Garba Shehu, Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, tried to control any damage and embarrassment the boycott may cause the government.
But SaharaReporters reliably gathered that many government officials and APC stalwarts deliberately stayed away over fears of being infected with the highly contagious virus.
“Many of the top government officials and party stalwarts contacted gave various excuses why they could not attend the burial of Mallam Kyari.
“Some claimed that the notice was very short and there was no way they could meet up with the activities lined up to send Kyari ‘home’ especially at this time when it was not certain who and who have the virus already.
“Many of the officials contacted politely excused themselves and said they were going to be offering moral support from their current locations,” one Presidency source said.