The Presidency has denied that there was a fire incident in the Aso Villa on Saturday, saying the outbreak occurred around the fence surrounding the official residence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
SaharaReporters had reported on Saturday that there was a reported fire outbreak at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, causing confusion among workers there.
It was learnt that the fire started around 4pm and that the fire service officials were there to put it out.
“The security men were chasing people not to cover the fire incident but I tried my best to capture the incident. The fire is still on,” a source told SaharaReporters around 9pm on Saturday.
However, a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, titled ‘Bush Fire Incident Recorded Outside Villa Perimeter’ on Sunday said the fire might have been caused by a passerby dropping a burning cigarette on the ground.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.
“We thank well-meaning Nigerians for expressed concerns.”