After May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan will leave the Aso Villa and reportedly will relocate to his Otuoke house in Bayelsa state where he is expected to retire.
According to the The Punch, the estate sprawls over a large expanse of land contrasting sharply with its rustic surroundings. It is said to belong to President Jonathan. Otuoke, Jonathan’s home town, is a small island community in the Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.
On the long road to the gates, soldiers and members of other security agencies, apparently on sentry duty, walked on the grounds. The overall air suggested guarded and protected serenity.
Behind the gates, shoving their heads above the walls are no fewer than eight different structures apparently for different purposes: recreation, security posts and guard quarters. A visitor to Otuoke will not be penalised for calling the place a fortress.
According to a source, there has been activity for a couple of weeks. And it is widely believed that come May 29, after the expiration of his tenure, President Jonathan will relocate to the place.
As if the president had the premonition that he would not live in Aso Rock beyond 2015, he was reported to have begun acquiring properties adjacent his sprawling country home by late 2013.
It is understood that the president acquired properties over an area which runs to about seven acres of Otuoba around his mansion which had been there earlier.
The place was thereafter expanded to encase the mansion while new structures were erected around it.
It was also reported that adequate compensation was paid to the owners of these properties to enable them relocate elsewhere.
Moreover, Jonathan after acquiring those buildings in 2013, reportedly engaged the services of a construction company, Jiito, to expand the estate to accommodate his new acquisition.
Today, Jonathan’s mini–estate, which overlooks a creek that links Otuoke to other coastal communities of Bayelsa, is a cynosure of all eyes.
A visit to Otuoke on Thursday showed that Jonathan’s mansions, which had been undergoing construction and reconstruction over the last 10 years, are now ready for habitation. The area they sit on is best described as an island.
It was learnt that before now, each time the president visited Otuoke, he usually slept in his wife’s (Patience) castle which is directly opposite the Federal University in Otuoke.
It was also learnt that the Jonathans own the choicest properties in Otuoke. The president was said to have built a two-storey building each for his mother and father opposite his own.
His wife, Dame Patience, besides owning a hotel, is also said to have numerous buildings that have been converted into hostels for FUO female students.
On the readiness of the Jonathans to return to Otuoke, one of the military personnel guarding the buildings said all the mansions in the estate were ready except one.