By Bernard Balogun
In governance, as in the game of soccer, the electorates are the best players: they have all kinds of ideas, they pontificate brilliant ideas. But let us reverse the role. Invite some of them into government, then wahala begins. They become docile and bereft of ideas. They lose their articulate memories and vibrant voices. They now see less, and become colourless in their pontification. That is why often times, the “governor” and the “governed” are never on same page.
This preamble is necessary, as it leads to the title of this article, a topic that is gradually assuming “a national discourse.” That is, The Presidential Villa: Is the place cursed?
That was a pertinent question an erudite communicator, Dr Reuben Abati, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan, eloquently posed in one of his articles in November 2016.
When that question was initially posed about eight months ago, I just flipped over it, but I remember Femi Adesina, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, did attempt to give a response; a reply that was laced with the art of diplomacy, which was neither here nor there. A brilliant media personality, who commands so much respect and displays proficiency, Adesina so effortlessly made a “non-issue” of that article that touched the very essence of this administration: the abode of most-ranking personalities, including the President, is not one to be so toyed with or over-looked with disdain. However, today, the truth stares us, dawns on us, and we are beginning to appreciate the intrinsic fact in Abati’s article.
The health of our President should be of concern to every serious-minded Nigerian adult. Therefore, I thought it necessary to revisit Abati’s exposition on the Presidential Villa, and try to sieve some basic facts for proper understanding of Aso Rock (as it is called). And, in doing so, let us have a mental picture of our President before he assumed office in May 2015 and juxtapose it with his present physical appearance. Does it convey any message?
For this narrative to be properly understood, let us make Abati’s exposition our guide. I shall quote copiously from that article entitled Rituals, Blood and Death: The Spiritual side of Aso Villa.
Abati wrote: “Sometimes, they wonder if something has not gone wrong with the thinking process at that highest level of the country. I have heard people insist that there is some form of witchcraft at work in the country’s seat of government.
“I’ll start with a personal testimony. I was given an apartment to live in inside the Villa. It was furnished and equipped. But when my son, Michael, arrived, one of my brothers came with a pastor who was supposed to stay in the apartment. But the man refused, claiming that the Villa was full of evil spirits and that there would soon be a fire accident in the apartment. He complained about too much human sacrifice around the Villa.
“The day I hosted family friends in that apartment and they slept overnight, there was indeed a fire accident. The guests escaped and they were so thankful. ..Not long after, the president’s physician living two compounds away had a fire accident in his home. He and his children could have died. He escaped with bruises. …
“Even some of the women became merchants of Love Machine, because they had suffered a special kind of death in their homes (I am sorry to reveal this) and many of the men complained about something that had died below their waists too. The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse.
“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 issued.”
And now to the big story. Let us read Reuben Abati further:
“……His wife (meaning President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s wife, popularly known as) Mama Peace, was in and out of hospital at a point, undergoing many surgeries. You may have forgotten, but after her husband lost the election and he conceded victory, all her ailments vanished, all scheduled surgeries were found to be no longer necessary and since then she has been hale and hearty.”
Let us go back to 2006, during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Presidency.
Around October 24 or so, the nation was woken to the sad news of Mrs Stella Obasanjo’s death in faraway Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain on October 23, 2006 under a mysterious circumstance. We were told “…Stella Obasanjo, a healthy woman who had had the very best of life, died as a result of complications arising from a cosmetic surgery to remove fat from her stomach…” (from an article by Chika Ezeanya on October 5, 2012). Of course, the entire nation was thrown into mourning of a colourful, elegant and flambouyant First Lady. A day before, the nation was plunged into mourning due to a plane crash in which many innocent souls painfully perished. Note, Chief Stella Obasanjo, euphemistically speaking, was the chief-occupant of Aso Rock, being the wife to the ‘Landlord’ of the ‘Rock’.
It is important I add that Chika Ezeanya in his October 5, 2013 article had alluded:
“… attacked by some demonic forces that began to inhabit Aso Rock since the days of the fetish goggled General..”
Before President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua became landlord in Aso Rock, he had been ill, but that illness did not defy medication. However, on his arrival at the Villa, the demonic forces in Aso Rock took over. His health rapidly deteriorated until his glorious exit on May 5, 2010. I am not given to superstitious belief. I am proudly Catholic and maintains puritanical streak.
These are weighty revelations from an insider that should not be treated with levity. In my considered view, the Presidential Villa is such an egregious abode, yet this is where far-reaching and sensitive decisions are taken, decisions that shape and impact on the lives of most, if not all, Nigerians. Such a place should not wear this kind of unholy toga, considered to be demonic. I see this as a serious challenge to our spiritual leaders and fathers in the Lord from both sides of the religion (Christians and Muslims alike), and indubitably calls for our sense of patriotism. The place needs total cleansing, with a view to making the Villa a safe haven for its occupants.
In view of the foregoing, I respectfully suggest that Mr President and his worthy family should relocate, in the best interest of his health, to the Defence Guest House in Maitama by MTN District Office. That place is spacious and secure enough in terms of security, and fits into the President’s Spartan life-style.
The entire presidential villa should be brought down, and re-built, after total spiritual cleansing exercise. This is my humble submission, please.
God shall grant our President speedy recovery and good health subsequently.
•Bernard Balogun writes from Wuse District in Abuja. He can be reached via email@example.com
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