The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged Nigerians to protect fire fighters and their equipment from physical attacks while on duty responding to emergencies and disasters.
This charge was given by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, while speaking at the Fire and Safety Advocacy Visit and commissioning of a state-of-the-art firefighting truck by His Excellency, the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Tuesday, September 28th, 2021, at the Government Hawse Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
“There have been heartbreaking reports of attacks on our personnel and equipment when they respond to distress calls. This makes it difficult for them to complete their tasks.
Our communities should now stand up and own the firefighting equipment that has been purchased and deployed at great expense for their use. They should be their first line of defense against vandals and other unruly elements.
Let us honor and respect ourselves by refraining from rash attacks on fellow citizens who are simply attending to our needs, albeit in an official capacity,” the Minister said.
The Minister, who took a tougher stance against such attacks on innocent federal officers risking their lives to save others and also to minimize the loss caused by such fire incidents, stated that armed personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will now accompany fire officers and bear the full weight of the law on unruly persons attacking those on life-saving duty.
We are making plans to have armed personnel accompany every mission. They will be given the authority to take any and all actions necessary to protect our personnel and assets from any form of attack. Any attack on officers and men in uniform is an attack on Nigeria and our sovereignty. The personnel are Nigerians with families, human rights, and a vested interest in our country. Attacking any of them is the same as attacking a Nigerian with emotional ties to other Nigerians, according to Ogbeni Aregbesola.
In acknowledging President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for the Ministry of Interior and its Agencies, the Minister stated that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) graciously approved N10.4 billion for infrastructure upgrades at the FFS on March 3, earlier this year. This has allowed the Service to purchase 44 additional fire engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines (that can go into the nooks and crannies of any community to respond to distress calls), and 20 basic life support ambulances.
As a result, I must express my gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his ongoing interest in and support for our ministry and the four agencies, including the FFS.
“This Service has grown tremendously under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. With the deployment of 141 fire engines and 6,000 personnel across the country between 2016 and now to boost emergency response, FFS is now present in all federation states and the most responsive, saving lives and preventing humanitarian and economic disasters.
“These trucks and equipment have been distributed throughout the country to strengthen the various state commands of the FSS, and we are very pleased to commission the truck deployed in Cross Rivers State, according to the Minister.
Dr. Ibrahim Liman, Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, prayed in his remarks for the State Governor to extend a hand of support to the Federal Fire Service in the state, saying that the deployment of the modern Fire Service Truck to the state was meant to assist the state’s firefighting efforts.
“The fire truck we are putting into service is a huge national asset that requires meticulous maintenance and fueling. “We begged the State Government’s indulgence in order to facilitate the deployment of utility vehicles to support the vehicle’s operation. ” Sir, we would like you to sponsor State Fire Service personnel for local and foreign training in light of emerging trends in firefighting, as well as the inclusion of the Federal Fire Service in the State Security Council “According to CG Ibrahim Liman