reuben-abati

In sum, I dare say that if, at all, there are spiritual forces tormenting Aso Villa occupants and their families, as claimed by Abati, it is as a result of the cries, miseries and agonies of Nigerian masses that are at the receiving end of the decisions made by the high and mighty in Aso Villa.


Since the phones of the spokesperson to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati, stopped ringing, he has done quite a number of good articles that I read and enjoyed.
 Like or hate him, Abati is a good writer. His proficient use of language, spiced with humour and sarcasm to communicate effectively makes him a writer I truly delight in reading. As such, I fondly call him Uncle Abati.

Recently, he did a piece entitled, “The Spiritual Side of Aso Villa”. The article reads very much like a sermon made to excuse the obvious failure of Jonathan’s inept and corrupt administration on some spiritual forces within Aso Villa. In a sense, it wasn’t different from how apprehended criminals, kidnappers and armed robbers blame their infamous act on the devil.

In the article, Abati talked about how the angel of death and sickness specially targeted Aso Villa occupants and their loved ones and how other mysterious calamities befell them, forgetting that under the administration he served, close to 15,000 Nigerians lost their lives to Boko Haram as a result of the greed and wickedness of those who wined, dined, stole and shared monies meant for the procurement of munitions in Aso Villa. Did this escape Abati?

In another paragraph, he said, “When you issue a well-crafted statement, the public accepts it wrongly. When the president makes a speech and he truly means well, the speech is interpreted wrongly by the public”. This is not true. Nigerians did not wrongly accept the well-crafted statements of Abati and his boss or give different interpretations to their speeches for no good reasons.

As a matter of fact, Nigerians only refuted the series of “well-crafted” lies peddled by Jonathan’s vuvuzelas, who would call a pig ‘daddy’ just to have a bite of pork, when the government lost credibility. Besides, why should Abati, who published and later retracted a libelous article that linked candidate Muhammadu Buhari to Boko Haram, want Nigerians to lap up words that proceed from him? Has he forgotten the picture of a road in Cameroon, which he passed off on his official website as one of the dividends of his boss, Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda?

I agree with Abati that, “When presidents make mistakes, they are probably victims of a force higher than what we can imagine”. But in the case of his boss, Jonathan, Nigerians had good reasons to believe that the former president’s cluelessness was compounded, not by spiritual forces, but by his penchant for “spirits in bottles”. Femi Fani-Kayode wrote on this in an article titled, “Jonathan, Tukur and a Government of Jezebels” when he said, “…He (Jonathan) must undertake to stop serving kai kai at the Presidential Villa.”

Jokes apart. I find it contradictory that Uncle Abati said, “I really don’t envy the people who work in Aso Villa, the seat of Nigeria’s Presidency. For about six months, I couldn’t even breathe properly. For another two months, I was on crutches.” This confession gives a picture of the afflictions he suffered while serving in the Villa. And I sympathise with him.

However, why did he not resign when he realised that some spiritual forces within Aso Villa were at work? Could it be that he so loved the presidential suya that comes with working in the Villa than his life and the lives of his loved ones who were potential targets of evil forces in Aso Villa did not matter as much, in relation to the gravy available to his office? Isn’t it contradictory that the same Abati who is now saying he does not “envy” those working in the villa, campaigned vigorously for the second coming of his Lord, Jonathan, like no man’s business? These are questions begging for answers. 



Come to think of it, in the article, Abati wrote how evil forces in Aso Villa afflicted the first lady, Patience Jonathan with sickness, but failed to tell us how the same “spiritual forces” deposited the about USD $70 million reportedly traced to her Skye Bank accounts. Also, he was silent on how $20 billion mysteriously disappeared from NNPC’s account under the watch of the second person in the “presidential godhead” in the Jonathan-led administration. In fact, that the same woman has been abroad treating cancer since Jonathan left the Villa revealed another factual error in the said piece.

Humorously, he talked about the miseries of wives of some Aso Villa occupants whose husbands suffered “below-the-bed-power-failure”, but had he pondered how the heinous diversion of arms procurement funds to achieve his boss’ re-election bid allowed Boko Haram morph into a behemoth that turned many Nigerians into widows, orphans, and IDPs, he would understand the miseries and agonies the administration he served visited upon Nigerians.

Even if Uncle Abati feels indebted to Jonathan, that’s fine but Nigerians knew better and that was why they voted him out.

In sum, I dare say that if, at all, there are spiritual forces tormenting Aso Villa occupants and their families, as claimed by Abati, it is as a result of the cries, miseries and agonies of Nigerian masses that are at the receiving end of the decisions made by the high and mighty in Aso Villa.

The law of karma suffices here.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.