President Jokowi forced to get out of car and walk 3km after getting stuck in traffic on way to military anniversary ceremony

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the official founding of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and a huge ceremony took place in Cilegon, Banten, this morning to mark the occasion. But despite all of the carefully choreographed military exercises on display at the ceremony, it seems like the event might have used some more organizational planning, considering President Joko Widodo himself got stuck in traffic while trying to get there, forcing him and his security detail to get out of his car and walk 3 kilometers to get there.

According to Kompas, the president got out of his car soon after 8am, when the ceremony was set to start (but of course could not start until he arrived). His motorcade was still some 3 kilometers from the site of the ceremony, but because traffic was at a standstill (apparently due to the huge number of civilians who had come out to the see the president), Jokowi and his entourage had little choice but to proceed on foot.

Initially Jokowi was only accompanied by members of his security guards (Paspamres) and the police, but he was later joined on his long walk by National Police Chief Gen. (Pol) Tito Karnavian and Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Jokowi finally made it to the ceremony at 8:40am.

Update: In a post on his Facebook page, President Joko Widodo said the distance he walked was about 2 km

Peringatan Hari Ulang Tahun Tentara Nasional Indonesia ke-72 di satu dermaga di Kota Cilegon, Banten, hari ini 5 Oktober…

Posted by Presiden Joko Widodo on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Upon his arrival, the ceremony kicked off immediately, with troops from various battalions entering the venue.

It’s pretty great that Jokowi was willing to walk so far (in a full suit!) to keep delays to a minimum. But the fact that the president had to walk 3 kilometers to a major state function like this due to terrible traffic and poor planning says so much about Indonesia, the government and the military that we’re not even going to try and unpack it all here. 

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