The Presidency has reacted to the ongoing media reports of a fire incident in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, the seat of the Nigerian government.
According to Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, the incident happened between the villa and the army barracks “towards Asokoro”. He denied reports that the fire outbreak occurred inside Aso Rock.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Shehu said it was a bush fire, adding that investigation into the incident is ongoing. “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,” he said.
“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.”
The incident comes nine months after a previous fire outbreak near the Aso Rock villa chapel. In June 2020, the presidency had confirmed a “minor” fire incident around the villa chapel, which was said to have been triggered by an electrical spark.