There was a beehive of activities at the hilltop mansion of former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), who marked his 80th birthday on Tuesday as former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Senate President Bukola Saraki top the list of dignitaries from all works of life who stormed the ancient city of Minna, the Niger State capital.
Also was in Minna is the former Anambra State Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate under the People Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi.
As early as 7:00 am, friends, associates, well-wishers and family friends have continued to troop into the house in solidarity with the retired general.
The roll call of guests is long, serving and former governors, serving and former ministers, serving and former National Assembly members, retired military officers and diplomats, captain of industries and a host others.
Notable among early callers was the man IBB usually refers to as his boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who arrived at the hill-top mansion of General Babangida at about 10:15 am in the company of former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar in a convoy of over 20 vehicles.
Although it was meant to be a birthday visit, Obasanjo and his host were excused by other visitors where they had a private discussion for over 30 minutes.
Other notable dignitaries included former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Akwa Ibom Governor Emmanuel Udom and former Governor of Kebbi state, Senator Ademu Alero.
Although reporters from within and outside the state were politely asked not to come close to the house, with an inscription “Press not allowed” placed right at the entrance gate, our correspondent who watched from a distance observed that Obasanjo arrived at the house in a long convoy of vehicles numbering over 20.
Reporters who had gathered at the gate as early as 7:00 am were told three hours later that their presence was not needed even at the gate.
It was equally a disappointing day for beggars, praise singers, political thugs and a host of others who usually seize the opportunity of such VIP occasions to make ends meet.
There was a heavy presence of both uniform policemen and plain-clothed security agents at all the entrance gates leading to the house.
As of 1:00 pm, no fewer than 15 private jets touched down at the Minna airports while vehicular traffic on the Minna-Suleja highway was unprecedented. With security agents at every two kilometres.