President Muhammad Buhari needed permission to attend the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers in Abuja on Saturday, according to the Presidency.
Buhari’s absence from their burial on Saturday sparked outrage, with some accusing him of a lack of empathy.
In the plane crash in Kaduna on Friday, Attahiru and ten other military officers died.
Buhari requires at least 48-hour clearance to attend any funeral or event outside the Villa, according to Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, through her verified Twitter handle @Laurestar.
Onochie, who said she was unaware of the procedure before Muhammed Yusuf told her about it.
She tweeted: “For a President to be at any funeral or event outside the Presidential Villa, the event must have at least 48 hours for intelligence operatives to do surveillance and clearance before the President can go based on the Security report.
“In a case where the COAS and his team died yesterday and had to be buried today, you don’t expect the President to go there where there is no security clearance.
“The minimum time of 48 hours wasn’t met. In insecurity parlance, funeral ceremonies are where politically exposed persons face more risks.
“Security issues and securing the President are not done by emotions or sentiments. There’re laid down procedures that must be followed. Be enlightened.”