Aso Villa permanent secretary explains why there are rodents in the seat of power

The permanent secretary in the presidential villa, Jalal Arabi, has said rodents and other pests are in the state house because of its location and availability of what he called “eatables.”

Arabi made the comment when he appeared before the Senate committee on federal character and intergovernmental affairs on Friday, January 19.

His words: “You know Abuja is so blessed with so many eatables, attracting rodents and other animals. You know where the Villa is located, it’s on a valley. You can’t restrict their movement because of the international convention on animals.”

President Buhari couldn’t resume at his office in the Presidential Villa because of reports that rodents had taken over his office. Photo credit: Aso Rock


Arabi was responding to a question by a member of the committee, Senator Joshua Lidani, a Peoples Democratic Party member from Gombe state.

Lidani had jokingly asked if the permanent secretary’s office has made provision for fumigation because of reports that rodents invaded the president’s office last year.

President Muhammadu Buhari couldn’t operate from his office when rodents were said to have damaged furniture and fittings in the office last year.

On the state house clinic, he said against zero capital allocation to the hospital in 2017, N698million had been earmarked for it this year.

“In all we do, we don’t charge a kobo. I don’t think there is any health facility that you just walk in without paying. The bottom line is because services are freely offered and the hospital relies on subvention, the challenge will be there,” he said.

The committee chairman, Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC, Zamfara), urged the government to reconsider its position on offering free medical services at the hospital.

He stated that the management should come up with little charges, adding that it shouldn’t be 100% free.