Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, says asking officials who attended the burial of Abba Kyari to distance themselves from Aso Rock Villa was “nothing extraordinary”.

It was reported that Kyari, who is the Chief of Staff to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), died on Friday, April 17 after testing positive for coronavirus.

The late CoS was prayed upon at the Defense Guest House in Maitama and interred at the Gudu Cemetry in Abuja on Saturday.

Many dignitaries and top government officials attended the burial. After the burial, there was a pubic outcry that the officials flouted the social distancing directive of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

There were later reports that the officials were asked not to enter the State House, Abuja for a minimum of 14 days.

Reacting, Shehu said asking officials to stay away from Aso Rock was a standard procedure.

He tweeted, “There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attend Abba Kyari’s funeral being advised to distance ourselves from the Villa.

“This is in line with the standard rules put in place by the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health. You do these things to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“For the most part, the Villa has operated digitally in the last few weeks so there is really nothing new to this.”

Kyari tested positive for coronavirus in late March after visiting Germany, forcing a string of top Nigerian officials, including governors who had been in contact with him to self-isolate. Kyari, 67, is the highest-profile COVID-19 death in Nigeria, .

Meanwhile, there has been no official confirmation on whether Buhari took a test, but the president has made two televised speeches imposing restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.