It was the story that made headlines across the world early this week, simultaneously opening up Nigeria to ridicule both in the mainstream and social media.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said at the beginning of the week that his boss couldn’t return to his office because of a rodent infestation, after being away in London receiving treatment for a mystery illness. He claimed that: “Following the three months period of disuse, rodents have caused a lot of damage to the furniture and air-conditioning units”.
As many Nigerians went to town with the rat jokes, including Naijiant.com, with the hashtag
#ratsInAsoRock trending on Twitter, more discerning folks suspected that “ratgate” was an excuse in the “dog ate my homework” category to cover up the fact that the president has not fully recovered from his illness and was going to spend most of his time in the living quarters of the presidential palace, working part-time.
It has since been reported that the company Julius Berger is responsible for the maintenance of the president’s office and a source there has claimed that the rodent story was “absolutely false”. Naijiant.com has also now learnt from another source – this time in the presidency – that they are upset with Buhari’s propagandist Shehu for telling such a lie that has left them open to ridicule.
It remains to be seen whether this ratting on Shehu could lead to any rats leaving the sinking ship that is the Buhari regime.