By Chesa Chesa
The Presidency on Sunday ordered its media staff and State House correspondents who attended the funeral prayer and burial of the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to work from home for the 14 days.
This is obviously in reaction to the concern raised over the non-adherence of social and physical distancing at the events, which were also attended by Ministers and senior presidency officials.
Kyari died of coronavirus on Friday in Lagos, and his body was flown to Abuja for internment at Gudu Cemetery, after prayers at his residence, Defence House, on Saturday.
An advisory statement signed by Attah Esa, a Deputy Director of Information, on Sunday specifically directed the newsmen and Villa media team that covered the event to stay off the State House, Abuja for the next 14 days and observe all health protocols.
“As a precautionary measure, all State House Correspondents and Media Office Staff who covered/attended the funeral prayer/burial ceremony of the late Chief of Staff, at Defence House and Gudu Cemetery Abuja, respectively, are strongly advised to work from home for the next 14 days.
“Please be careful to observe the recommended measures to prevent the coronavirus transmission, including maintaining physical distancing and good personal hygiene going forward”, the statement said.
Before then, President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, had tweeted that: “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 National Center for Disease Control, 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.”
The Presidency had in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Abuja, scaled down the number of media organizations permitted to cover its activities following the devastating effect of the pandemic.