*Says ‘You don’t play with First Family’s protection’
*PDP to Buhari: Speak out
By Clifford Ndujihe, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Olayinka Ajayi
About 48 hours after alleged shooting at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja, the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari, on Saturday, said her security details arrested in connection with the Thursday incident had neither been released nor replaced.
Aisha insinuated that the security details remained in detention despite her plea for their release, while they were not replaced, adding: “You don’t play with the protection of the First Family.”
Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked President Muhammadu Buhari to speak out on the incident.
There had been reports of shooting at the Villa, on Thursday, by some security officials in pursuit of a presidential aide who had allegedly refused to isolate for COVID-19 after travelling out of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The First Lady was said to have been infuriated by the aide’s action.
The aide, according to sources, fled and it was in the process of stopping him that shots were fired.
The incident apparently led to the arrest of Aisha’s security details on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as confirmed by the First Lady who demanded their release in a tweet.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, last night, Aisha, through her spokesperson, said she was not aware of sporadic gunshots at the Villa.
The Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the First Lady, Aliyu Abdullahi, said: “We are not aware if there were sporadic gunshots at the Villa.
“What we gathered was that he (a presidential aide) was asked to go for self-isolation by security operatives in the Villa and he refused. They hinted the First Lady about the development.
“If you remember vividly, when the daughter of the First Lady came from abroad, the First Lady insisted that her daughter should self-isolate for 14 days. She’s somebody who believes nobody should be above the law.
“She wanted the presidential aide to abide by the guidelines of health officials. In other words, she is simply protecting her family.
“The First Lady deserves to know why security operatives assigned to her were withdrawn. You don’t play with the protection of the First Family.
“It calls for concern. Out of courtesy, the police should have explanation for it. There should never be vacuum in protection. Why did you withdraw and not replace them if they defaulted?”
Meanwhile, the PDP said, on Thursday, it was worrisome that the Buhari Presidency had failed to speak out on the alleged shooting at the Villa so as to reassure Nigerians and douse the tension in the polity; especially at this critical time when the nation is facing serious security challenges.
“The PDP, therefore, calls on President Buhari to take immediate steps to restore order in his Presidency and shield our security system from the division and power tussle among persons close to him,” a statement by the opposition party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, said.
“Our party also demands immediate inquest into the security breaches as well as the alleged violation of COVID-19 ban on inter-state travels by officials and relations of Mr. President, which was reported to be part of the immediate causes of latest disturbances in the Presidential Villa.
“Furthermore, the PDP urges the National Assembly to save the nation by wading into the persistent infighting in the Buhari Presidency, especially as those in charge of the Presidential Villa have not demonstrated the required capacity to engender the needed orderliness for productive governance.”
On his part, Second Republic politician and an elder of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Guy Ikokwu, described the shooting incident as part of failure of governance and existence of a lacuna between the governed and those governing.
According to him, the shooting incident is a tip of the ice berg on the happenings in the Villa.