Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency, yesterday, broke its silence over last Thursday night incident where the First Lady’s Aide-de-camp, Usman Shugaba, fired shots in an attempt to force President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant, Sabiu Yusuf, into self-isolation over COVID-19 fears.
It said the arrested officials were being investigated and the law should be allowed to take its course.
This is even as it assured that President Buhari was not at anytime in any form of danger arising either from Coronavirus infections or the reported incident in Aso Rock.
Trouble started when Yusuf, president’s nephew, returned to his residence at the precincts of the Presidential Villa, just outside the Pilot gate, after a trip to Lagos where he had gone to meet his wife who had just delivered a baby.
Citing COVID-19 protocols, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari and three of her children, Zahra, Halima and Yusuf, accompanied by some of security aides led by the Aide-de-Camp, went to Yusuf’s residence and demand that he should self-isolate for 14 days, so as not to endanger the first family.
An altercation ensued which led to gunshots being fired at the Villa. Shugaba and other security aides were subsequently arrested and detained on the order of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu. It was learnt that a panel made up DIGs and AIGs has been inaugurated to investigate the matter.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the law should be allowed to take its course.
“The Presidency wishes to acknowledge concerns expressed by several members of the public regarding the recent incident among the occupants of the State House which escalation led to the arrest of some staff by the police. This is to assure all and everyone that the President Muhammadu Buhari, is not, and was not at anytime in any form of danger arising, either from deadly infections or the reported incident by security personnel which is currently under investigation. This particular incident happened outside the main residence of the President.
“Armed guards and other security personnel assigned to the State House receive the necessary training of especially weapons handling and where they come short, their relevant agencies have their rules and regulations to immediately address them.
Having authorised the proper investigation to be carried out into this unfortunate incident by the Police, the President has acted in compliance with the rule of law. That a minor occurrence is being used by some critics to justify attacks on the government and the person of President Muhammadu Buhari beggars belief. In this particular instance, the President says the law should be allowed to take its course,” Shehu said.
Mrs. Buhari had on Friday, called on the IGP to immediately release her aides who were reportedly detained based on the orders of the Chief Security Officer to the President, Idris Kassim.
She said their release was in order to avoid putting their lives in danger or exposure to COVID-19 while in custody.
The First Lady had also charged relevant government agencies to enforce the Quarantine Act signed by President Buhari in March and ensure no one is found violating it and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines.