After May 29, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will be leaving Aso Rock Villa to his home town in Bayelsa state
The President will be enjoying his home coming in a beautiful expanse of land where security will be top notch.
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. This according to Punch Reports,
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.
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, 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, asides 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 his houses said all the mansions in the estate were ready except one.
The soldier, who declined to give his name, said the contractors were fixing air conditioners and window blinds on the last mansion.
The security operative said, “I can tell you that the houses are ready. Everything is in order. It remains only one building where the contractors are putting window blinds, curtains and air conditioners.
“I overheard some of the workers saying that they had been instructed to finish the last building before the second week of May. I think it is because the President is returning home.
“As of now, no domestic staff or relatives are living here. All his relatives have their homes. It is only military men and policemen that are living in some of the buildings.
“Even at that, many buildings are left unoccupied because the buildings are so massive and it will take a community to occupy them.”
The soldier, who said he had been living at the place for the past four years, claimed some of the President’s domestic staff were in his Kpansia, Yenagoa mansion, which he built while he was Deputy Governor of Bayelsa.
That the President will be returning to Otuoke according to the soldier, is only symbolic, stressing that apart from the mansions at Otuoke, Jonathan and his family members have numerous buildings at Okaka Estate, off Isaac Boro Expressway in Yenagoa.
Many residents of Otuoke are indeed longing to see President Jonathan, one of their illustrious sons, return home.
For them, Jonathan has made Otuoke, once a relatively unknown place, known to people outside it and turning it to a city to be reckoned with.
A resident, Prere Goodthinking, said though President Jonathan lost his re-election bid, he is God-sent, not only to Bayelsa people but to the entire country.