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    Aso Villa and the audacity of rats by Reuben Abati

    “What’s that sound I am hearing?
    ”“What sound?” “I thought I heard something like miaow, miaow…
    ” “Oh my cats…oh yes…” “Are you now breeding cats?” “Not really.
    But I have just joined a group of concerned Nigerians who are planning to go to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to help sort out this issue of rats that invaded the President’s office and chased him out of his office as the BBC reported.”
    “You mean you believe that story?”
    “Nobody knows what to believe in this country anymore, but we are patriots, and Baba’s loyalists, and we are determined to make our own contribution. Why don’t you join us?”
    “To go and kill rats in Abuja?”
    “Yes. Can’t you see that those rats are irresponsible elements? The President travelled for three months and they just took over his office, ate up the furniture in the office and now Baba has to work from home for 3 months while his office would have to be renovated, all at public expense.”
    “How on earth would rats invade the President’s office?” “You like to ask questions. Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman and an experienced journalist who knows a story is not a story except it is accurate has told us that they are having a problem with rats in the Villa, who are you to doubt him? Have you been to the Villa before?”
    “Yes.” “So, join us. Those rats have crossed national red lines. They must be destroyed relentlessly because they are terrorists and criminals. They are in fact guilty of treasonable felony. What they have done is the equivalent of an attempted coup d’etat! We, the concerned citizens, will not take it. We have a duty to defend this democracy.”
    “But why are you bothering yourself? The President has met with the Security Chiefs. And he gave them a marching order to ensure national security. They should know what to do” “But did they obey the marching order?
    After their meeting with the President, the other day, they just addressed a press conference and returned to their offices. Not a word about the breach of national security by rats. I was shocked. I expected the service chiefs to march straight to the President’s office and deal with the rats with immediate effect.
    This is the problem. Baba has around him, people who are not ready to help his administration. Even the Generals, with all their epaulets and combat experience, are running away from common rats! You now see why some of us have decided to take up this matter as patriots?”
    “I don’t think anybody will allow you to take cats into the President’s office, though. That may even be more of a threat to national security than the rats invasion.”
    “Okay, what do you suggest, we go to the zoo and get lions, jackals and hyenas to attack rats?” “What will a lion do with rats?”

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