Former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the fire at his Abeokuta home on Thursday as a minor one which only affected the office of his Personal Assistant.
Obasanjo, who was not at home at the time, was not sure of the cause of the incident, telling the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), “It may have been some electrical problem.”
NAN quoted him as saying of the incident, “Ile Obasanjo to jo e wa lo bu si,’’ which means, “The fire incident will only add beauty to Obasanjo's house.”
Observers say that as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men, Obasanjo clearly meant that he will take the opportunity to upgrade the quality of the edifice.
According to the general himself, when he left prison in 1998 he was worth only N20,000 (about $1300). He left office in 2007 an astoundingly rich man. Even his farm, which was dying during his imprisonment, was in November 2004 confirmed by his spokesman, Femi Fani-Kayode to have recovered during his presidency and to be making about N30 million ($250.000) per month.
It would be an irony of sorts should the fire in his mansion today be traced to an “electrical” fault. In his eight years in power, Obasanjo frittered about $16 billion into the hands of contractors and associates in “search” of electricity. None of the money has been accounted for, and the House of Representatives found that some of those who received money did not even clear the land on which they were supposed to have been conducting business or building power plants.