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Aso Villa (officially The Aso Rock Presidential Villa) is the workplace and official residence of the President of Nigeria since 1991 when Nigeria moved its capital from Lagos to Abuja. It is located at Yakubu Gowon Crescent, The Three Arms Zone, Asokoro, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
Several names that are used for Aso Villa include State House, The Rock and The Villa. The Aso Rock Villa is the most protected presidential statehouse in Africa. The most powerful man in Nigeria lives in the Aso Villa and it is from here that the bulk of the nation's decisions occurs. The rock on which the villa is built is an impressive 400-meter monolith which is the most noticeable feature of the town.
The beautiful palatial residence was completed in 1991, the same year the military junta of Ibrahim Babangida relocated the national capital from Lagos to Abuja. Aso Villa encompasses the 400-meter monolith Aso Rock, located within the Three Arms Zone of Abuja metropolis. In 1976, the Military Government of Murtala Mohammed took the decision to relocate the Federal Capital from Lagos by a committee under the leadership of Justice Akinola Aguda which recommended the creation of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the center of the country and its proclamation to this effect was issued on February 3, 1976.
Akinola Aguda House (formally named on October 1, 1983) was originally conceived as a Presidential Lodge & Guest House Complex and hosted the first-ever formal Cabinet Meeting held outside Lagos, only days after Abuja hosted Nigeria's Independence Anniversary celebrations for the first time, in October 1982. President Ibrahim Babangida, who took office in 1985, commenced construction of a new Presidential residence and in 1991 the Aso Rock Presidential Villa was completed and President Babangida became the first Head of State to occupy it, on December 12, 1991.
Upon completion of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa the Aguda House became the Vice Presidential Complex, and has remained so till date — apart from the period between 1999 and 2007 when the Vice President lived in a Residence that has since been transferred to the Judiciary as Official Quarters for the Chief Justice of Nigeria. In 2010, construction of a new Vice Presidential Residence commenced. The Residence has yet to be completed the Buhari administration has said it is not a priority. Today the Presidential Complex, located in the Three Arms Zone of the Federal Capital Territory, consists of the Main Presidential Villa (Office and Residence of the President, and Offices of the Vice President and Wife of the President), the State House Conference Center, State House Annexe, and the Akinola Aguda House. The old Presidential Lodge in Marina, Lagos, was handed over to the Lagos State Government in 2017.
The villa is currently under the protection of the Presidential Guard Brigade which perform ceremonial and protective duties for the president. The brigade performs public duties in a weekly changing of the guard ceremony outside the villa.
Asides the villa being the residence of the president, other activities like the plenary session takes place within the villa.
The villa has the Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court, Abuja National Mosque, Nigerian National Christian Centre, Zuma Rock, Millennium Tower.
Who Can Visit
Visiting the villa is strictly on invitation.
Best Time To Visit
If you’re looking to catch all the great moments at Aso Rock, then you should visit this place in the day, between 8 am and 5 pm, as this the period when government functions like plenary at the Senate, House of Assembly, Children’ Parliament as well as proceedings at the Supreme Court are carried out at Aso Rock.
The Presidential Villa has the first roadblock manned by a surfeit of security agents – police, army etc. It is heavily guarded.