There is disquiet in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, following the withdrawal of security aides attached to the president’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Buhari. The withdrawal of police officers attached to the office of the First Lady, including her Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Usman Shugaba, and Escort Commander, came after the Special Assistant to the President, Sabiu Tunde Yusuf, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, was asked by Mrs. Buhari to respect the COVID-19 guidelines, following his alleged refusal to go on self-isolation after returning from Lagos.
The first lady’s encounter with the president’s nephew reportedly in the company of her children was said to have gone out of hand after the involvement of security personnel who shot into the air thrice.
Daily Trust on Sunday learned that the gunshots at the State House happened at the point when Sabiu, who is popularly known as Tunde, a name he was given after Tunde Idiagbon, the second in command to then Major General Muhammadu Buhari during the military regime, was making efforts to leave after the altercation with the first family.
A source said, “On Thursday, when the first lady heard that he was still coming to work, she asked him to self-isolate but he told her that the president said he didn’t have to. “Her insistence led to a heated verbal exchange between them and which the president was informed about. The president, however, took sides with Tunde and didn’t see any reason why he should self-isolate.
“He said Zahra and Halima (his daughters) left the villa to visit their in-laws when Halima’s husband’s uncle died recently and they didn’t self-isolate on their return. He also pointed to the fact that when his new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, went to Lagos, he didn’t self-isolate on his return, so he didn’t see any reason why Tunde should. So, he overruled her.”
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, who visited the Presidential Villa Friday morning, was said to have ordered the arrest and detention of the police officers attached to the office of the first lady. Hajiya Buhari, unhappy with the move by the police authorities, called on the Inspector General of Police via her Twitter handle, to free her ADC and other police aides taken into custody.
The first lady in her verified Twitter handle @aishambuhari, wrote: “That COVID-19 is real and still very much around in our nation is not in doubt. Consequently, I call on all relevant government agencies to enforce the Quarantine Act signed by Mr President and ensure no one is found violating this law and the NCDC guidelines especially on interstate travel without the necessary exemptions for movement of essentials.
“Anyone who does that should at the very least be made to undergo a 14-day mandatory isolation no matter who the person is, no one should be above the law and the police command will do well to remember that. “Finally, I call on the IGP to release my assigned staff who are still in the custody of the police in order to avoid putting their lives in danger or exposure to COVID-19 while in their custody.”
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered from sources that the security aides are yet to be released.