Hardly 24 hrs after previous President Olusegun Obasanjo commemorated the yearly Ibogun Olaogun Day in his place of origin, Ibogun Olaogun, Ogun State, a segment of his Hilltop manor in Abeokuta was on Thursday gutted by fire.
PCs and workplace appliances were among products pointed out to have been destroyed in the inferno.
No-one can find out the reason of the fire, sources at the estate, that begged anonymity, claimed it might have been caused by an electrical negligence.
The fire was said to have begun barely 20 minutes after Obasanjo left the house for a confidential purpose. He was however said to have actually hurriedly returned to his burning building to check those fighting to stop the fire.
His wife, Bola, children and grandkids, pointed out to be on holiday, were apparently moved to more secure areas of the manor as the fire raved.
A source claimed one of the assistants to the retired general discovered smoke coming from a section of the manor around 4.10 pm.
The aide was said to have actually raised the alarm to entice the attention of various other occupants of the house, featuring security officials, which swiftly tried to stop the fire from affecting other parts of the mansion.
The raging inferno however got out of hand and the State Fire Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp were called in for help.
Our correspondent also learnt that before the arrival of the firefighters and the NSCDC officials, some of the workers had made attempts to climb up the building in trying to put out the fire.
By the time the firefighters and civil defence officials arrived at the mansion, our correspondent learnt that the fire had spread to other parts of the building, said to include the bedroom of the former President.
Plainclothes policemen denied access to the residents of the area who thronged the house from entry.
Among the early callers at the building was the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye; the state Director, State Security Services, Mr. Joseph Okoh; former Minister of Finance, Dr. Onaolapo Soleye; and some officials of the state government.
However, Obasanjo told reporters that only his secretary’s office caught fire and not whole the building.
Speaking in Yoruba he said, “I hope all of you understand Yoruba. You can see that only the secretary’s office was gutted by fire and not the entire house. So, go and report it properly.”
He then burst into singing in Yoruba and in his usual comical and jocular way, he sang, Ile Obasanjo to jo, ewa lobusi, meaning (Obasanjo’s house that’s razed by fire will become more beautiful).