That moment when Rats chase your president from office
Rats are preventing President Muhammadu Buhari from resuming work at his office desk in Aso Rock.
Don’t laugh, please. This is not even a joke.
Actually, the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, says the Rodents have damaged furniture and air-conditioning fittings in Buhari’s office.
"Following the three months period of disuse, Rodents have caused a lot of damage to the furniture and the air conditioning units," Shehu lamented.
There are actually different animals in the ‘Rodent’ family.
Rats have taken over President Buhari's office
Rodents are mammals characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors. They range from Guinea Pigs, Porcupines, Squirrels, Chipmunks, to house Mice and Rats.
Shehu didn’t say which specie of Rodents invaded the presidential Villa, but since we all know that Rats are the most intrusive and destructive domestic vermins in this part of the world, we can settle on them as the culprits here.
“I do not have that level of detail”, Shehu confesses through a straight face, when asked to name the class of Rodents that ransacked his principal's office.
ALSO READ: President working from home because rodents damaged his office
The explanation was offered after Nigerians queried why Buhari was going to be working from home following his 103-day medical vacation in London.
Shehu says there’s nothing wrong with Buhari working from home because it isn’t anything new. As long as the work gets done, Nigerians have no right to be up in arms, he surmises.
play Garba Shehu and Lai Mohammed take questions from the press (The Nation)
“There are also general works and it is not uncommon for Nigerian presidents to also work from the presidential villa. Buhari has used the residential office for many years.
“What is important is that the job gets done. Whether he does it from his bedroom or his sitting room or his anteroom—it does not matter. Let the job be done and it will be done”, Shehu vows.
The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also took to the cameras to explain why no one should take the working-from-home concept out of context.
“Well, I have seen different slants and interpretations given to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is working from the office in his house for now. I can’t understand what the fuss is all about”, says Adesina who quite frankly never sees the fuss in anything.
He continues: “The same complex accommodates the house and the office area. Now, the regular office needs some renovation because 103 days of absence have affected it. There was some deterioration there and it needs to be renovated.
“And there is an office in the house that is almost a replica of the regular office. So that is where he is working from. But the reportage has given the impression that the president is luxuriating at home. No! He works in the office in the house!
play Presidency spokespersons address the media (Punch)
“In that office in the house was where he signed a letter to the National Assembly intimating them of his return to work. It was there he met Vice President Osinbajo. As we speak, he’s meeting the Service Chiefs there now. So, the work is going on without let or hindrance.
"When I see headlines like ‘Buhari works from home', trying to insinuate that he is not fully fit to work from the regular office, I think that’s disinformation and misinformation and we need to adequately report whatever is happening”.
Fair enough. But this whole Rodent or Rat infestation saga--assuming there was actually one--could have been better handled.
The entire office could have been regularly fumigated in the president’s absence if Aso Rock knew it had a Rat or Rodents problem.
And why was there no maintenance of the president’s work-space while he was away? Are government offices—not least the most powerful office in the land—allowed to harbor Cockroaches, Spiders, Rodents and all kinds of creeping creatures whenever the occupant takes a leave of absence?
Is Aso Villa a monument where all kinds of mammals are allowed to roam freely?
play President Buhari in his home office (Facebook/Sumner Shagari Sambo)
Isn’t there a fundamental problem with us as a nation if we allow Rats take over the office of the Commander-In-Chief? If we can’t maintain a simple office space, it is little wonder that the rest of Nigeria is so poorly managed.
This Rat saga is therefore a metaphor; symptomatic of all that is wrong with us as a nation.
There's no provision for fumigation in the country's N7trillion budget? What a wawu!
My gut tells me that this is more than a Rodent invasion saga. That some religious clerics and Marabouts have been contracted to carry out spiritual cleansing of the president’s office before he takes to his seat at the Villa.
Grapevine sources say Buhari’s frequent medical trips abroad stem from a theory that he was poisoned in that same Villa and therefore, extra care is being taken this time around. Some say a few persons who are victims of Buhari’s anti-corruption war, want him dead and have gone as far as deploying all diabolical methods in the book. It is important to state here that these are all rumours, conjectures and speculations which I heard with one ear and which escaped through the other.
play Buhari returns to Nigeria to meet his office taken over by rats (AFP)
In any case, it really doesn’t matter from where the president operates, in my opinion. This country badly needs fixing and the presidency is distracting us with this Rats today, working from home tomorrow, follow-up medical vacation the next day, stories.
By all means, let Abuja get to work. There’s no time to waste anymore.
What a rat race!