A journalist based in South Africa has weighed in on the excuse that the office of the President was invaded by rats and rodents.
A Johannesburg, South African journalist, Aislinn Laing, has joined those making a mockery of Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidential spokesmen after they reported that the President's office was ravaged by rats and rodents.
Laing who is currently the Africa Correspondent for the Times of London, took a swipe at the excuse, saying it is one of the silliest she has ever heard that a Presidential office could be invaded by rodents where the furniture, air conditioners and other items were reportedly damaged.
Laing who had previously covered some of the biggest stories to come from the continent including the Westgate Mall siege in Kenya, the Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani trials, the Ebola crisis, the civil war in Ivory Coast and the death of Nelson Mandela, wrote that such an excuse could only be told by the dumbest of spokespersons and wondered why Nigerians who have some of the most intelligent minds in the world, would allow such people speak for them.
Laing tore into the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu after he made the statement that the President would have to work from home because rats invaded his office following his absence from the country for 104 days on medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
Opening her salvo, Laing wrote:
"In the annals of excuses, it might rival 'the dog ate my homework' for sheer inventiveness. President Buhari of Nigeria, who has been on sick leave for all but three months of the past year, says he cannot return to work in his office because rats have eaten it.
Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, revealed that Mr. Buhari, 74, would be working from home for the next three months because his office at Aso Rock, the presidential complex on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, had to be renovated.
He claimed that rodents had damaged the furniture and air conditioning units. Rats put the president’s office out of action while he was away."
Laing's knocks off the outrageous excuse given for the President's decision to work from home, has been receiving a wide range of mockery from both local and international media.
The BBC was the first to drop their thoughts on the scandal when it talked about it on their pidgin language service thus:
"Garba Shehu, senior special assistant, SSA on Media mata to President Muhammadu Buhari say rodents don damage di President office and dis na why im dey work from home.
'After im no dey for office for about three months, rodents don cause plenty damage for di furniture and air conditioning units wey dey for im office and dis na why e dey work from home for now,' Shehu tell BBC.
Shehu tell BBC say dis na one of di reason why dem dey clean and renovate di office now. After over 100 days in London where im dey on medical vacation, President Buhari return to Nigeria on Saturday, August 19.
Im address di nation on Monday morning, come send letter to di National Assembly say im don resume work.
But, on Monday, di President still work from home and people come dey ask wetin cause this one.
Shehu say dem just dey clean di office and dis na why di President dey work from di office wey im get for di residential area of Aso Rock villa, wey bi seat of government for Nigeria."
While the Presidency has been trying to justify the renovation, many Nigerians have also condemned the excuse, saying it is not only lame but an insult to the citizens who should deserve better after giving their mandate to President Buhari.