The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, says some aides to the President travelled interstate despite a ban on such movement by the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, Shehu said people are allowed to move interstate once they present a compelling reason before security agents at checkpoints.
Shehu 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.
Shehu 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.”
When challenged with the fact that only essential workers were allowed to travel interstate, Shehu insisted 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.
When asked if Tunde, who is at the centre of the recent incident, would resume work today, Shehu responded, “If he happens to be there, I will not be surprised and if he is not, I will not be surprised.”
The police had last week arrested six aides of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, following an altercation between them and Tunde.
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 which led to the altercation.