Anyone familiar with the name Aso Rock with regards to the country Nigeria would understand that apart from it being the most significant place in the nation, it also happens to be the citadel of power and the abode of the number one citizen of the federation. It is therefore always going to be something of paramount importance and grave concern from citizens, whenever any sensitive news is being reported or special events either positive or negative in any form of threat occurs therein or around its vicinity.
The newspaper reported recently that there was a fire outbreak witnessed around the presidential villa and a conscious effort was made to get to the bottom of it by media outlets who eventually confirmed the reports, after making inquiries and hearing from a presidential representative who, in a statement, actually revealed that there was indeed a fire outbreak outside the perimeter of Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, on Saturday night.
In a press conference the presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, confirmed the speculation regarding the outbreak and disclosed to the general public via media outlets that the incident occurred between the villa and the army barracks “towards Asokoro”.
He however refused to comment on the possibility of the White House of the federation being affected in this entire episode. Nevertheless, when he was continuously quizzed by correspondence on the present situation he was quick to deny reports that the fire outbreak occurred inside Aso Rock.
Speaking in a statement issued on Sunday regarding the fire eruption, Shehu stated that it was a bush fire, putting in that investigation into the incident is ongoing in his words;
“People in the country and even abroad have been expressing concerns over reports of a fire incident in Aso Rock Villa, the seat of the Nigerian government. I would like to clarify that there was no fire inside the Presidential Villa,”
“In the evening of Saturday, March 6, a fire broke out burning shrubs between the outer wire fence and walls surrounding the Villa, precisely in the area between the Villa and the Barracks, towards Asokoro.
“The fire, as being speculated, might have started from a passerby dropping a burning cigarette. The Federal Fire Service will ascertain the reason for it when they complete their investigation.
“It suffices to say that this bush fire, which started and ended outside the perimeter walls of the Villa, was seamlessly contained by fire stations of the State House and the one nearby from the Federal Fire Service. No loss of life, no loss whatsoever to building and property was recorded.”
Coincidentally the event occurred exactly nine months after a previous fire outbreak near the Aso Rock villa chapel.
Recall that there were similar reports of a minor fire outbreak in the previous year in June 2020, whereby the presidency substantiated the story of a “minor” fire incident around the villa chapel, which was said to have been aroused by a power surge electric.
Citizens are, however, grateful that it was not the president’s villa that witnessed this ugly episode but are also hopeful that the damage caused by the fire is not severe.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese