By Kayode Sesan
Fresh indications emerged on Monday on the real reasons President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to officially move into the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
According to a Villa source who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on Monday on condition of anonymity, President Buhari will not take residence at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa until the necessary “spiritual cleansing” has been carried out at the Villa by a team of Senegalese Marabouts.
“The Senegalese Marabouts engaged to carry out the cleansing of the Villa before Buhari moves in are yet to arrive. It is not immediately clear why they have not arrived. But I can authoritatively tell you that the President will move in to the Villa once the cleansing is done”, the source said.
The source debunked claims by Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu that the President was yet to move in as a result of ongoing renovation work. “It’s a blatant lie. The Villa has been renovated and completed even before President Jonathan left office. So what is he saying? The Villa, without renovation is in good enough shape for any President to function. The renovation was only carried out as a routine requirement for the new President”, the source disclosed.
Since his inauguration as President on May 29, 2015, President Buhari has been operating officially from the Defence House, Maitama and sleeps in one of his private residences in Aso Drive, Abuja. This has drawn complaints from several Presidential Villa staff who say Buhari’s refusal to move into Aso Rock is slowing down the business of governance.
During the regime of the late Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha, it was common practice for Marabouts flown in from Mali and Senegal to perform spiritual cleansings in Aso Rock. A similar practice was witnessed during the administration of the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. In spite of these heavy spiritual fortifications, General Abacha died on June 8, 1998 after a suspected case of alleged poisoning at the Defence House, Maitama, where President Buhari currently uses as his official headquarters. President Yar’ Adua died on May 5, 2010 while serving his term in office as President.
On his part, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has also stalled plans to move into his Aguda House official residence at the Presidential Villa as a sign of respect for his principal. The Vice President has also been constricted to functioning from a private residence in Abuja.
It is not clear how long the current situation will last. A state house correspondent told TheCable on Friday that it could take another two weeks.