The Jakarta Post
Military commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo apologized to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo after the latter was forced out of his car to walk for around 2 kilometers when he and his entourage were trapped in a traffic jam on their way to the military’s 72nd anniversary ceremony in Cilegon, Banten, on Thursday.
Gatot expressed the apology in his speech during the ceremony.
“We apologize to you all because many of you had to use ojek [motorcycle taxi] or walked. Even President Joko Widodo had to walk for 2 kilometers,” Gatot said as quoted by kompas.com.
Spectators had flocked to PT Indah Kiat Harbor, where the ceremony was held, to watch military’s show of forces since 6 a.m, causing traffic congestion on roads around the area. It was impossible for the President’s car to go through the crowd.
A picture shared by the Presidential Office showed Jokowi walking while escorted by Gatot and National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian. Some military generals in Jokowi’s entourage were also seen walking.
“This is because people have been here since 2 a.m. This shows people’s love for the TNI [the Indonesian Military],” Gatot said.
Kompas reported that Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was among the people who walked, but he decided to use a motorcycle 1-km before reaching the venue. Some public officials’ wives dressed up for the ceremony were seen wiping their sweat. Locals offered them motorcycle rides. (saf/ary)