Friday 28 December 2012
Fire guts Obasanjo’s house
An afternoon fire yesterday gutted the office section of the multi-million naira mansion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Hilltop area of Oke-mosan in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
It was learnt that the fire, which started around 4:30pm was said to have been caused by an electricity surge from one of the personal offices of the former president and razed some valuable documents.
Security agencies, which included the rescue team and other personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), State Security Service as well as relations and close friends of Obasanjo, battled for over 40 minutes to contain the fire from spreading to other parts of the mansion.
Two fire fighting trucks of the Ogun State Fire Service, marked OG 122 AO9 and OG 127 A09, drove into the compound an hour after the fire had been put under control by officers of the NSCDC.
It was also learnt that the fire started barely 20 minutes after the former president had left the mansion for his family house at Ita-Eko, within the Abeokuta metropolis.
The development, however, forced Obasanjo to return to the mansion to ascertain the level of damage to the building as well as the welfare of his wife, Bola, who was said to be indoors during the incident.
Chairman of the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dipo Odujinrin, who spoke with newsmen shortly after the fire had been extinguished, confirmed that valuable documents were lost to the inferno.
Odujinrin, who was among those that quickly rushed to sympathise with Obasanjo, expressed appreciation to God that no life was lost, also said that the damaged documents could be recreated.
Speaking with newsmen, the former president said it was part of his secretary’s office that was gutted by the fire.
Obasanjo, in his characteristic comic manner, went into singing in Yoruba, saying, “Ile Obasanjo to jo, ewa lo bu kun. Eyin journalists e ma wi bee kiri ….”.
The former president reiterated that his house that burnt will bounce back in a big form and with more beauty, adding that it was a minor incident.
The fire incident, however, attracted a heavy presence of security operatives, including the state Commissioner of Police, Ikhemefuna Okoye, and the state Director of SSS, Joseph Okpu, among others.
Also, the Chief of Staff to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, former Commissioner for Environment in Ogun, Anthony Ojesina, were part of the sympathisers that thronged the venue.