•President not in harm’s way from incident or COVID-19, says presidency
•Confirms first lady’s security aides breached Aso Rock regulations
By Omololu Ogunmade
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered investigation into Thursday’s shooting in State House by his wife’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), vowing that the law must take its course.
Reacting to the incident, the presidency, in a statement yesterday by the presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president acknowledged concerns generated by the development, adding that he’s not by any means in harm’s way.
Usman Shugaba, ADC to the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, had fired two shots in the precincts of the State House on Thursday night, while attempting to apprehend the president’s private secretary and nephew, Sabiu Yusuf, in his house.
The ADC had led some of his colleagues along with the first lady and three of her children to Yusuf’s house after a heated argument, following the president’s wife’s insistence that he should self-quarantine after returning from a trip to Lagos, the epicentre of COVID-19 in the country.
She had said Yusuf’s refusal to self-quarantine after returning from a trip during the interstate lockdown, puts the first family in danger of COVID-19 infection.
Sabiu, popularly known as Tunde, (having been named after the late Brigadier Gen.
Tunde Idiagbon, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, when he was Head of State in the 1980s), had resisted pressure from the first lady to proceed on self-quarantine after returning from Lagos last Monday where he visited his wife who had just put to bed.
His refusal, citing instances of the president’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and Mrs. Buhari’s daughters, Halima and Zahra, whom he said respectively returned from trips without going into self-quarantine, culminated in the decision to storm his house to arrest him.
In the ensuing melee, Shugaba fired two shots, described as ‘security breach’ in the State House, which forced Yusuf to scamper for safety into the nearby house of his uncle, Mr. Mamman Daura.
The incident, which has generated grave concerns across the country, compelled the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to order the detention of Shugaba and his colleagues.
Besides, the incident caused concern about the safety of the president.
But the presidency allayed fears about the safety of Buhari, saying he’s not under the threat of COVID-19 infection.
Describing the incident as minor, Shehu, who admitted the arrest of the first lady’s security aides, explained that armed men attached to the State House, are always trained on the do’s and don’ts of their briefs, including resistance to shooting.
He added that the episode did not happen around the president’s house, but some distance away.
He said the president had promptly reacted to the development by insisting that the law must take its course.
The statement read: “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 and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, is not, and was not at any time 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.”