Reuben Abati’s Villa demons, explained through the Villa rats

by Alexander O. Onukwue

President Goodluck Jonathan really had a very good spokesperson in the brilliant Reuben Abati.

That was well known before he assumed that role, and from his writings after five years at the Villa, he is also being appreciated better for his commentaries, a one-stop for political dialogues and analysis served with humor and objectivity.

One of the most talked about of Mr Abati’s articles in the past two years, besides the one about the mangoes of T-Boss, was his dissection of the “demons” that follow everyone who moves into the Villa. According to that piece, these evil forces would inevitably force its will on even the most well-intentioned person in the Villa, or at least press one enough to render the ability to focus on doing good impotent.

Of course, he was partly cutting his former boss some slack from the criticisms that have been placed at Jonathan’s feet for not being in control and letting others wreck his administration. Yet, Mr Abati’s words that Aso Rock functions in ways that are mysterious are not totally unfounded.

The story of rats from the present administration that replaced him and his boss seem to give that theory some credibility.

Many a Nigerian mother would have, at one point, described rats as representing so form of diabolism; it is oke amusu in Igbo language, that rat that seems so human that it opens the stew pot, takes out the meat, and covers it back, the only evidence of tampering being the stain of stew on the carpet. Trying to convince such mothers that it is either they or their children who had taken the meat would be to no avail; they saw rats that night before they slept, so if the meat went missing, there could only be one predator.

Mallam Garba Shehu will probably expound more on these “rats” that ate furniture and air conditioners when he becomes a “yesterday’s man” like his compatriot Mr Abati is now, but it does appear that they are indeed fighting with their own set of demons at the moment. But if these demons are supposed to cause the President to be derailed from achieving his purpose in the Villa, then they must have been summoned by someone; who?

Alternatively, these demons could really nothing more than the basic inability of the various teams working for various interests within the Rock to plan efficiently, communicate strategically, and collaborate towards one purpose. It is quite easy to imagine that the absence of any one of these three will give rise to chaos.

Hence, “demons” at work.

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