By Oluwafemi Popoola
Barely a few days to the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, has dismissed the ‘age-long’ rumour surrounding Nigeria’s seat of power, Aso Villa, as being jinxed and cursed.
The veteran journalist has described the notion as being “baseless” insisting that the Aso Villa is a replica of the US White House and it is not under a curse, saying after eight years in the Villa, he is leaving with a thankful spirit and lots of fulfilment.
Akande made this statement on May 19, 2023, during an interview session with Hamza Idris on (Daily) Trust TV, where he reflected on his experience serving as a spokesman to the outgoing Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo.
Akande who was asked by the anchor having worked in Aso Villa for the past eight years, if indeed the place is jinxed? He replied, “I don’t think so, I think it is completely baseless. But people can believe it but I don’t see it that way.”
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“I mean this is the ‘White House’ of Nigeria. I am leaving with a lot of excitement, I am leaving with a lot of gratitude, I am leaving with a lot of thankful spirits, I am leaving with a lot of fulfilment.
Also being queried further if he nursed any form of regret in the course of events that had happened during this administration, the journalist said he harbours no regret.
“I don’t have any regrets. But maybe in terms of hopes that were deferred. But I believe if he (Osinbajo) were the candidate of the party it would have made a lot of difference. Thank God we still won and our party still won but clearly, we would have had a much easier route. There would have been a lot of excitement in the country. But that’s past and we still have someone that he is also a progressive there,” Akande said.
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Speaking on the widespread cravings for Osinbajo’s Presidency before the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary in June 2022, Akande said, “In the case of Osinbajo, it’s no longer a question of we don’t know what this guy would do because they had seen him do it, especially when he acted. If you look at it he acted for president for like 160 days in total.”
Recall in October 2016, Reuben Abati had written an article published in The Guardian Newspaper in what seemed like a great revelation explaining how the presidency he served for over four years was jinxed, with the entire Villa given over to the service of Satan. He titled the article “The spiritual side of Aso Villa.”
“I am, therefore, convinced that there is an evil spell enveloping this country. We need to rescue Nigeria from the forces of darkness. Aso Villa should be converted into a spiritual museum, and abandoned,” Abbati had written in parts.
Reuben Abati, a former columnist and the chairman of the editorial board of the Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian from 2001 to 2011, served as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan between Year 2011 and 2015.
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