by Isi Esene
The Hilltop mansion belonging to the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo which reportedly started around 4:30pm on Thursday was caused by an electric surge.
The fire damaged a section of the building which is said to be the office of Obasanjo’s secretary.
The inferno was quickly put under control by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), with one of the officers, identified as Kunle Famakinwa, sustaining injury in the process of putting off the fire.
The former president had just left the building for his other house at Ita Eko, Abeokuta, not quite 20 minutes before the fire started, sources say.
The president, who quickly returned to the building to assess the extent of damage done told reporters that the building only affected a section of the building.
He reportedly 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: “The fire that gutted Obasanjo’s house has only made it more beautiful, you pressmen sing along with me”).
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.