On Thursday 27th December 2012, it was reported that a section of the Abeokuta Hilltop mansion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was gutted by fire. The fire which was said to have started barely 20 minutes after Obasanjo left the house for an undisclosed place destroyed computers and office appliances.
According to Punch, a source who pleaded anonymity said the fire could have been caused by an electrical fault.
One of the aides to the former President noticed smoke billowing from a section of the mansion about 4.10pm. The aide was said to have raised the alarm to attract the attention of other occupants of the building, including security officials, who quickly moved to stop the fire from spreading to other part of the house.
As news of the fire got out, journalists gathered at the house and Obasanjo also returned after receiving phone calls about the fire. However, instead of receiving a briefing on the cause of the fire, he decided to make jest about the incident.
Speaking in Yoruba, the former President told journalists to go to town and sing about the fire. “I hope all of you understand Yoruba. You can see that only the secretary’s office was gutted by fire and not the entire house. So, go and report it properly.”
He then burst into singing in Yoruba and in his usual comical and jocular manner, he sang, Ile Obasanjo to jo, ewa lobusi, meaning (Obasanjo’s house that’s razed by fire will become more beautiful).