When rodents invaded President Muhammadu Buhari’s office in August, Nigerians reacted with mockery and accusations of incompetence but these fearless pests have shown themselves capable of causing even a greater damage by invading the office of the President of the self-acclaimed World Police, the United States of America’s White House.
According to a report by NBC Washington, there have been hundreds of maintenance work orders which revealed that the White House is being invaded by mice, ants, and cockroaches.
The reports showed that officials submitted hundreds of request for repairs, equipment, and pest control to be done in White House Situation Room, Chief of Staff Office and Navy mess at the beginning of the year.
The orders also requested for a change of toilet seat in the Oval Office, new furniture and pictures to be hung in Former Press Secretary’s office, Mike Spencer.
While reacting to the massive maintenance project, former Inspector General of the U.S General Services Administration (GSA), Brian Miller, said: “It’s an enormous job. GSA is assigned to manage that job.
“They are old buildings, any of us who have old houses know old houses need a lot of work.”
This is not the first time the Presidential House has received some “August Visitors”.
In 1977, former President Jimmy Carter was having a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, when the unbearable stench of dead mice invaded the meeting, coming from the White House meeting rooms.
Carter, who documented the incident in his diary, was so frustrated that he summoned the top officials in his office and brief them about rats invading his office and the unpleasant smell of dead ones coming from the executive rooms.
He wrote: “For two or three months now I’ve been telling them to get rid of the Mice.
“They still seem to be growing in numbers, and I am determined either to fire somebody or get the Mice cleared out – or both.”
The GSA was reported to be trading blames over who is responsible for the overrunning of vermin in the White House.
Responsible for maintaining the Interior of the White House, they told the President that they already eliminated all the mice “in the inside” and that the new mice are coming from the outside; which is the work of the Interior Department; responsible for managing the building exterior maintenance.
The Department, in its response, said, it has no business with the rats because they are inside the building which is out of jurisdiction.
After two months of intense battle, victory over the vermin was declared with officials reporting that the problem is under control.
First lady, Barbara Bush, was also reported to have an encounter with a rat during her daily swim in the White House pool.
She was reported to have said: “It was enormous, did not look like a Walt Disney friend, I’ll tell you”.
The unwanted guest was later rid of by her dog, Millie.
In 2013, President Obama also receives his fair share of vermin when a roach was discovered by Martha Joynt Kumar, a Towson University Professor who has been studying President-Press relations for nearly four decades.