The Presidency has reacted to the ongoing media reports of a fire incident in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, the seat of the Nigerian government.
In its clarification, the Presidency dismissed the report of a fire breakout inside the Presidential Villa, describing such as fake news.
This disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, on Sunday, March 7, 2021, who dismissed the report of the fire incident.
Shehu, however, stated that on March 6, 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 presidential aide revealed that the incident recorded no casualties in terms of human life and property.
What the Senior Presidential Media Aide is saying
Shehu, in his statement, said, “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.
“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.”
This highlights the dangers of fake news which have been prevalent in the country and has the capacity to destabilize the country.
It also lends credence to the call by some people and stakeholders for media practitioners to always verify their stories before letting them out to the public.