We have seen similar stories play out in the Nigerian media. We have all heard, read, and speculated about the badly kept secrets and lies from the lips and press releases of government spokesmen and women that ever-so-often mislead the Nigerian public about the whereabouts of their public figures. The first time it happened in recent memory, the individual in question was said to have gone on a tummy-tuck holiday. She never returned. May her soul rest in peace.
The next time it happened, for weeks all we heard were rumours about our supposedly ill and comatose President. Then we did not hear anything at all. We just saw a new man ‘acting’ as our President, until we finally heard what we did not want to hear. May his soul also rest in peace. So, I am sure that you can all imagine our anxiety and anger, when it seemed as if Part III of “Aso Villa Occupant Goes on Vacation” was being released. Make no mistake, we love our Made in Nigeria movies, and even though we often criticize our leaders, given the nature of Part I and Part II, we taught we knew how this particular movie was going to end – and we were not looking forward to watching it. Until the main actor in Part III, Aunty DPJ, defied the odds and came back home. Now the story gets interesting…
We are a tough-talking, ego-butchering people (if you do not believe me, do a random search for “Tonto Dike” and “music”). However, even with all the flak that we give Aunty DPJ from time to time in the press and on social media sites, we are also quite empathic – especially when it comes to providing a support system for our brothers and sisters in emotional or medical-related distress. So, again, I am sure that you can imagine our displeasure when we began to look around, beginning on the 28th of August – when she was last seen in public – wondering where our Aunty DPJ had disappeared. To add salt to our pure water, you can further imagine how shocking it was to hear from sources familiar with her whereabouts – after weeks of not hearing anything – that Aunty DPJ, our very own Permanent Secretary and First Lady Aunty DPJ, was abroad “resting.”
Resting? Resting? What kind of nonsense is that? Who in their right mind had the audacity to move the soft couch where Aunty DPJ usually took her rest in Aso Villa to Germany? I mean, after all, that sounds like the only valid reason (or not) to go to Germany just to ‘rest.’ Some people even had the effrontery, to suggest that Aunty was sick. Can you imagine that? Anyways, Aunty is now back and has denied ever being admitted to a hospital and has not said anything about falling ill. She has also not told us anything substantial, other than the fact that: “God has said it all… when two or three are gathered in His name… he will be with them. And Nigerians gathered and prayed for me and God listened and heard their prayers, so I thank God for that.”
Yes, we did gather, and we did pray. In our churches, mosques, shrines and homes, we prayed for Aunty DPJ’s safe return, regardless of the clearly audible radio silence from those in Aso Villa about her whereabouts. We prayed and wished her all the best, even though deep down, we had our reservations about the ‘resting’ theory, which was later accompanied by the ‘food poisoning’ theory.
In this regard, many of us have come to the conclusion that given the information that we have been provided by Aunty DPJ (in her October 18th remarks about her German vacation) and the statements from the seasoned spokesmen and women in Aso Villa about her ‘rest’, the soft couch theory seems like the most plausible explanation. Somebody forcefully took Aunty DPJ’s favorite soft couch out of Aso Villa – with all the security that it has – and moved it to Germany, and Aunty DPJ could not “rest” without it, so she had to go there for eight weeks.
Be that as it may, I must reiterate that we are glad to have Aunty DPJ back home. However, there are a few things that still do not really sit right with me. As a self-respecting citizen, that has come to always believe and trust in everything that my government says, I have also come to accept that Aunty DPJ went to rest abroad for eight weeks on her favorite soft couch. However, what I do find unacceptable is the shroud of secrecy that seemed to accompany this eight-week vacation. I mean, really, what were they ashamed of? After all, given the level of corruption that is exhibited at all levels of our government, an eight-week taxpayer-funded rest and relaxation period for the First Lady is nothing to worry about. I just often find myself wondering why she could not just ‘rest’ here in Nigeria, until I catch myself and remember that she needed her soft couch, and somebody took it to Germany.
Except if there is another story…
As always, thank you for your time.
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