The disappointing absence of President Muhammadu Buhari at the funeral of his Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Attahiru has set social media, in particular Twitter, on fire. It is a dishonour.
Attahiru and 10 military men died in an air crash that happened in Kaduna last Friday evening.
The deceased were laid to rest at the Military National Cemetery in Abuja on Saturday, a stone’s throw away from the country’s seat of power. But even as the creme de la creme were in attendance, it was a no-show for the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While a few defined it as a shock, others stated that it indicates the level of care the president has towards Nigeria.
In many ways, Nigerians have mainly seen or heard from the president during national holidays or through interviews granted to foreign media, but this latest gaffe was the latest indictment on the president’s attitude towards the state of affairs in the country.
This is not the first time Buhari has “ghosted” on important national funerals and not attending to victims of major tragedies.
In 2018, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described the absence of President Buhari at the funeral of soldiers killed by Boko Haram as “completely unacceptable”. Abubakar also called out Buhari for failing to attend the funeral of five Nigerian Air Force officials who died to continue the war on terrorism in 2019.
Other popular burials Buhari did not attend includes that of his late Chief of Army Staff, Abba Kyari, who died from COVID-19 in 2020.
Many public analysts are of the opinion that Buhari has shown time and time again that he is a person who has no sympathy for the people he controls.
Buhari called late COAS, General Attahiru, a “hero”, but did not attend his 30-minute funeral, which was just 15 miles from Aso Rock. Yet, Buhari travelled 4000 miles to Paris for 4 days. VP Osinbajo also did not attend, yet last week he also traveled 2500 miles to Kampala.
It is left to be seen what else Buhari and his cohorts have up their sleeves, but the signs don’t look good for the common-man who seeks to draw courage from his President