From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s palatial home on the Hill Top, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State was engulfed in an early evening fire yesterday.
The fire, which destroyed many household items and personal documents, was said to have occurred barely 20 minutes after the Balogun of Owu left home.
However, his wife, Bola and some of his children and grandchildren, who were on holidays, were at home when the fire started.
Daily Sun gathered that although the fire destroyed vital household items and personal documents, no life was lost.
The fire came barely 24 hours after Obasanjo played host to dignitaries including the state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun at his ancestral home, Ibogun Olaogun in Ifo Local Government Area of the state.
Although the cause of the fire remained unknown as at press time, a source close to the former chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) linked the fire to power surge.
According to the source, one of the aides to the former president first noticed smoke emanating from one of the buildings in the complex located in the Hill Top Estate at about 4.10p.m.
He was said to have raised the alarm, which attracted the attention of other workers including security personnel who struggled to prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of the building.
Daily Sun further learnt that it was when the fire was getting out of hand that a ‘Save-our-Soul’ was quickly sent to both the state fire service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). They arrived the scene minutes after.
Two trucks of the state fire service with registration no OG 122 and OG 127 A09 arrived the scene of the fire incident shortly after it started.
It was further noticed that before the arrival of the fire fighters, many workers had climbed up the building trying to put the fire off.
Smoke had started spreading to other part of the building, particularly the bedroom of the former president when fire fighters and the NSCDC officials arrived the scene.
Residents of the town, who got the information and attempted to get to the scene, were prevented by plain clothes security men.
Many of them, who lamented the incident, described it as a Christmas tragedy.
Reacting to the incident, Obasanjo who later addressed journalists though confirmed the inferno, said the fire affected only his secretary’s office.
In his usual comical manner, Obasanjo who spoke in Yoruba urged journalists to report accurately, saying the fire did not consume the entire house.
He later burst into songs and urged journalists to join him: “Ile Obasanjo to jo ewa lo bu kun,’’ which translates as: “Obasanjo’s burnt home will turn more beautiful.’’