CG of the FFS presenting the modern fire engine to Governor Ayade and the Minister of Interior at Government House in Calabar. Photo: Halima Idris
Federal Government has called on Nigerians to desist from attacking firemen and destroying fire equipment during rescue operations.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the call in Calabar, Cross Rivers State during the inauguration of Modern Fire Fighting equipment deployed to the Federal Fire Service State, FFS, Command.
Ogbeni Aregbesola noted that henceforth attacks on Fire Fighters in the line of duty will not be tolerated.
He, therefore, ordered armed Personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, to always provide cover for firemen during emergency operations.
“We are deploying armed personnel of the Civil Defence as the advance team to every fire emergency. They will be armed so whoever therefore dares to test our will, would pay dearly for it henceforth.
“So, to be forewarned is to be careful as they are to secure every ground of emergency and enough of willful damage of expensive fire trucks and grievous physical attack on fire service personnel”, the Minister said.
The minister, however, called on the citizens to take ownership of the fire fighting equipment which was procured and deployed at huge cost and be the first front line in defending firefighters.
“They should be the first line of defence in the face of attacks from vandals, hoodlums, unruly armed elements and must not allow those characters own the space because at the end of the day they will be the ones to suffer for lack of response, ” He added.
He emphasized the need for people to know the nearest fire station to them and emergency numbers to call during emergencies.
Ogbeni Aregbesola who frowned at the unceasing attack on harmless firefighters Wondered why anyone would choose to attack officers who go to incident scenes to remove dangers threatening their fellow countrymen and women.
Ogbeni Aregbesola explained that these personnel attacked are not less Nigerians, but are Nigerians with rights to their own lives, safety and freedom so nobody has a right other than the other.
“This personnel attacked are not fewer Nigerians but are Nigerians with rights to their own lives, safety and freedom so nobody has a right than the other.
“They are sons of some people, husbands of some people and wives of some people so you cannot, therefore, think you can physically assault them and think you can get away,” He further added.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers state said the state government will ensure the people are well sensitised on Fire prevention.
Governor Ayade commended the federal government for deeming it fit to equip fire formations across the country especially cross river state.
He stated his administration’s resolve to adequately provide equipment to fires station across all Local Government areas of the state in emulation of what the government of President Buhari is currently doing.
“We are known as a tourism state so public safety must be our priority so we will reflect this visit in our budget for 2022.
“This is to ensure we provide for the acquisition of this kind of truck to support all other 17 local governments because this one will be in Calabar where the largest population and density are,” the Governor said.
The Controller General, CG, of the Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the fire engine was to complement the efforts of the State Fire Service and improve response time to emergency calls.
Dr Ibrahim also called on the state government to engage more fire officers and improve the welfare of firemen in Cross Rivers to be at par with Federal and other state firefighters.
Reporting by Halima Idris; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino