Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, has said members of the public that attended Abba Kyari’s burial were not invited.
The president aide stated this while reacting to outrage over non-observance of social distancing at the late chief of staff’s burial.
Kyari, who was the chief of staff to President Buhari, died of coronavirus on Friday, April 17, and was buried on Saturday, April 18.
He said the burial ceremony was delayed in their attempt to maintain social distancing, but had to proceed as more people kept trooping to the cemetery.
Shehu said: “Was there any invitation for the public to come for the burial? Go back to my Twitter handle and read what I posted. From 10am, when we picked up the body at the airport, we sent a message out that the funeral will be private and that the public should please go and pray for Abba Kyari.
“We also said no condolence visits to the President and family. What can we do? Are we going to invite soldiers to flog people who came to pay their last respect to the man?
“We didn’t invite people. We were trying to move people back and observe social distancing and it was delaying the funeral. We just have to do it because people are not ready to leave. What are we going to do?”
9jablogger previously reported that Nigerians took to social media to react to Kyari’s death.
His death generated different reactions on social media. While some mourned the death of the president’s chief of staff, others showed no sign of sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.