Vanguard (Lagos)

28 December 2012

Nigeria: How Fire Gutted Obasanjo's Abeokuta Mansion

Photo: Vanguard
The former president's home on fire.

Abeokuta — The multi-million naira mansion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, was, yesterday, gutted by fire with one person sustaining injury in an effort to put out fire.

One of the officials of the rescue team, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, identified as Kunle Famakinwa sustained injury while joining his colleagues to put out the fire.

It was gathered that the fire, which started around 4:30p.m, 20 minutes after Obasanjo reportedly left the mansion for his family house at Ita-Eko, Abeokuta, destroyed some documents and property.

A resident of the mansion told Vanguard that, the inferno was caused by an electricity surge from one of the offices of the former president and destroyed some valuable documents.

Security agencies, including the rescue team and other personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and State Security Service battled for 30 minutes to put out the fire.

Two fire fighting trucks of the Ogun State Fire Service marked OG 122 AO9 and OG 127 A09 arrived the scene one hour after the fire had been put under control by officers of the NSCDC.

The development, however, forced the former president to return to the mansion to ascertain the level of damage.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the fire was put out, Obasanjo expressed appreciation to God, explaining that the fire did not affect the entire building.

Fire fighters and security men at the scene.

He said: "You have seen that it is only the office of my secretary that is burnt. The house is almost intact."

Singing in Yoruba language, the former president said: "Ile Obasanjo to jo ewa lobu kun, ile Obasanjo to jo ewa lobu kun, eyin Press ema wibe, ewa lobu kun"(which when translated means "fire that gutted Obasanjo's house has only made it more beautiful, you pressmen sing along with me").

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