– This was the position of Garba Shehu, one of the media aides of President Muhammadu Buhari
– Shehu said the false viral news has spread like wildfire among Nigerians both within and outside the country.
The presidency has reacted to the viral reports on social media that occupants of the Aso Rock Villa witnessed a fire outbreak in the premises on Saturday, March 6.
In a tweet on Sunday, March 7, a presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, denied the claim and stated clearly that there was no such incident at the villa.
Shehu said the false report has spread to as far as outside the shore of Nigeria.
“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.”
However, Shehu admitted that there was an inferno in a bush behind the fence of the villa on the night of Saturday, but that through the intervention of firefighters, the flames were not allowed to make their way into the complex.
Shehu went on to note that although thankfully no life was lost, the Federal Fire Service will give a statement on the cause of the fire upon the conclusion of its ongoing investigation.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state on Thursday, March 4, held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.
The governor said he has received calls from a significant number of persons asking him to run for president in 2023.