|Jonathan’s Otuoke home | credits: Simon Utebor|
Culled from Punch
After May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan will leave the Aso Villa. SIMON UTEBOR was at the President’s Otuoke, Bayelsa State-country home where he is expected to retire to
The air around the sprawling estate is amazingly cool. Looking around, the answer to this quickly dawns on our correspondent. The estate is opposite a creek, and the rolling breeze keep coming.
It is Otuoke, the home town of President Goodluck Jonathan. Otuoke is a small island community in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
And there, the estate sprawls over a large expanse of land contrasting sharply with its rustic surrounding. It is said to belong to President Jonathan.
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. No one needs the gift of clairvoyance to understand they are approaching a restricted zone.
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.
Activities in this place, a source within said had been at a lull until a couple of weeks ago. And it is largely believed that come May 29, after the expiration of his tenure, President Jonathan would 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.
The President, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered, acquired properties on an area which runs to about seven acres of Otuoba which were around his mansion that had been there earlier.
The place was thereafter expanded to encase the mansion while new structures were erected round it.
It was also gathered that adequate compensation was paid to the owners of these properties to enable them relocate elsewhere.
It was learnt that Jonathan after acquiring those buildings in 2013, 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 in the last 10 years are now ready for habitation. The area they sit on is best described as an island.
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