The Presidency has defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s Private Secretary and nephew, Yusuf Sabiu (aka Tunde)‘s decision to embark on a trip to Lagos.
Yusuf had broken the interstate travel restriction rule which was put in place to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) when he travelled to Lagos to see his family after his wife was delivered of a new baby.
Speaking on Channels Television on Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said people are allowed to travel interstate if they have a compelling reason.
He said: “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.
“We follow what the NCDC and Ministry of Health prescribe. The difference the Villa makes is that there is an eye on everyone.”
The issue started when Aisha, members of her immediate family and her Aide-de-camp, Usman Shugaba tried to force Yusuf into self-isolation after he returned from Lagos state.
Trouble started when the First Lady, Zahra, Halima and Yusuf, accompanied by some of her security aides led by the Aide-de-Camp, went to the residence of Sabiu, who is the President’s nephew, demanding that he (Sabiu) self-isolate for 14 days, so as not to endanger the first family.
It was gathered that Sabiu escaped after gunshots were allegedly fired by the First Lady’s ADC in an attempt to apprehend the President’s aide.
He, however, ran into a nearby house of President Buhari’s cousin, Mamman Daura, where he reportedly spent the night.
The incident was reported to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who then ordered the arrest of the Aide-de-camp to the First Lady and all the security aides that accompanied her to Sabiu’s residence.
Aisha Buhari’s aide has since denied reports that the shots were fired by the First Lady’s ADC.