A recent article by Reuben Abati, erstwhile Spokesman to former President Goodluck Jonathan, titled, ‘Rituals, blood and death: The spiritual side of Aso Villa’, is all that throbs my thought faculties these days, especially following recent happenings in the presidency.
With the return of President Muhammadu Buhari last Friday, March 10, 2017 after nearly 50 days of medical vacation abroad, I have had to reflect again on that script, for which not a few lambasted Abati, including his predecessor, Olusegun Adeniyi, who served Late President Umaru Yar’adua.
If you did not read Abati’s script, then let me serve you snippets of same, before I proceed.
Abati wrote, “… I was coming to the villa using Lux soap, but that most people around the place always bathed in the morning with blood. Goat blood. Ram blood. Whatever animal blood.

I argued. He said there were persons in the Villa walking upside down, head to the ground. I screamed. Everybody looked normal to me. But I soon
began to suspect that I was in a strange environment indeed. Every position change was an opportunity for warfare.”
In a worst case scenario, Abati alleged, Mr Death himself had occupied Aso Rock Presidential Villa and haunted its tenants. Hear him, “I recall the example of one particular man, an
asset to the Jonathan Presidency who practically ran away from the Villa. He said he needed to save his life. He was quite certain that if he continued to hang around, he would die.

I can’t talk about colleagues who lost daughters and sons, brothers and uncles, mothers and fathers, and the many obituaries that we is sued.”
After the scare on Mr President’s life was doused by his miraculous return to power, I have had cause to revisit the submissions of Abati. Is something strange stalking Aso Rock for real?
I recall, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo lost his wife Stella, while living in Aso rock, whereas General Sani Abacha died in its chambers in mysterious circumstances. Then First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan escaped Mr Death by the whiskers although President Jonathan lost several relatives there, and this is not to forget, we lost the amiable President Umaru Yar’adua within its precincts, in circumstances, similar to what is playing out currently with our President.
Moving forward, should President Buhari not consider vacating Aso Rock to the comfort and assured security/sanctity of his private residence in Asokoro area of Abuja and govern Nigeria from there, limiting official functions only to the villa?
I make this proposal, taking cue from what just happened in Brazil.
Only yesterday,(Monday, 13 March 2017 Brazilian President, Michel Temer reportedly fled his official residence, in the capital Brazilia, alleging that the place is infested with evil spirits.

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President Michel Temer abandoned his beautiful official residence, The Palácio da Alvorada(Palace of Dawn) stating that, bad vibes and ghosts did not let him and his family sleep well at night.

Termer evacuated the Presidential palace with his wife,  Marcela Teme and their seven-year-old son, Michelzinho and relocated to the residence of the Vice-President, which is not too far from the Presidential palace.
Explaining the reason for his action Temer said, ‘I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night. The energy wasn’t good.”
His wife, Marcela corroborated his fears, but Michelzinho (their son), expectedly does not feel the same way. Being a child, he runs around playing in the sprawling villa. President Marcela is believed to have brought in priests to pray and drive out any evil spirits, but to no avail. Hence, he moved out to a smaller luxurious apartment around Jaburu Palace, the official abode of the Vee Pee.
For me that is sensible.

According to an Ibibio adage, ‘Utu ke mbok asin udi, yak edim adep’, translated, ‘instead of mud play to turn to a brawl, let a rainstorm end the trifle”. Rather than have a ghost haunted house snuff life out of the living or even make their life uncomfortable, moving out is a good option.
All over this nation, in villages, towns and cities, I have seen several plagued property that are abandoned with no soul inhabiting them. Some are very modern edifice, others shanties or outdated structures. Doing same to Aso Rock and even turning it into a national monument isn’t after all, a bad idea, if that saves the life/health of our leaders.
I recall, it took President Buhari exactly three weeks to move into the Villa after his inauguration on May 29, 2015. It even took Vice President Osinbajo much longer to move into Aguda House-the official residence for the vice President. The official line was that, the residences were undergoing renovation. Hmmm!
Some Aso Rock minders whisper that, the ‘Renovations’ is a broad term that includes, spiritual cleansing, and exorcism of the influences of the immediate past.


The new tenant, so oft is advised to perform purification rites before moving in, as he does not know what deities, powers, rituals,  and altars, the outgoing occupant indulged, believed in; and the faith he practiced in secret.

This pretty much is the same case scenario in virtually all the 36 states of the federation, except where the incoming leader trusts his predecessor. A classic but more extreme case, is that of Plateau state Governor, Mr Simon Lalong.  He declined moving into the State’s government house.
arguing that, he won’t do so because, the official residence was not only uncompleted, but that, he does not need such luxury to serve the people.
Newspaper reports quoted him as saying, “I am not going to occupy an uncompleted building as a government house. In any case, I don’t need such a house to work for the people of Plateau State. In serving Plateau people, I don’t need a luxury office.

I’d rather prefer people of the state live in luxury homes with all social services provided.”
Insisting that, a new Government House is not a priority of Plateau people, after a whooping cost of over N15 billion, and it is still uncompleted, he preferred  to stay put in his private residence and govern from there.
It could welll be a convenient excuse to avoid the pitfalls feared by abati or the Brazilian President.
I can’t tell if he has since changed his mind. Can this go for an example to Aso Rock dwellers, if the place is truly plagued by evil which cannot be cast out? Where are the Prophets, necromancers, sorcerers, excorcists, marabouts and high priests in the land? What demon is it that cannot be cast out? I am not convinced.

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By Osondu Ahirika

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