Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Ahead of the general election, the Federal Government has deployed eight new fire trucks to Lagos, Kano, Kwara, Oyo and Edo states.
Controller General of Fire, Engr. Abdulganiyu Jaji disclosed this on Wednesday at a one day session on, “Providing Fire Cover for the Forthcoming General Election” organized for top management, Heads of Departments and Commanding Officers at the Service Headquarters.
According to him, the recent fire attacks on offices and personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC nationwide have heightened the need for the meeting.
“It is essential that we come up with solutions to these problem in order to ensure the safety of INEC infrastructure, personnel and the integrity of the electoral process. This brainstorming session will provide an opportunity to have a robust engagement, drawing from your resources and experience, strategies and stratagem.
“By coming together to brainstorm, we can create a safe and more secure environment to forestall future attacks on INEC infrastructures, personnel and to safeguard the electoral process from political hoodlums and enemies of the state, who now use fire attacks as a tool to frustrate INEC in the discharge of her statutory mandate.
“We must ensure that our resources are properly allocated and be prepared to respond to any potential fire related issues that may arise. I am confident that with the hard work and dedication of my officers and men of the Federal Fire Service, we will be able to ensure the safety of polling units, ward, local government and state collation centres, as well as providing a secure environment for citizens to cast their votes”, he stated.
According to him, it is the duty of the Service to ensure fire cover for all and sundry, before, during and after the election.
He said the recent attacks on INEC offices across the country places a burden on fire officers to ensure that the ugly situation is nip to the bud.
On plans for the election, he said; “Fire personnel will be on standby to respond to any fire incident that may occur during and after the election.
“Fire safety education and awareness campaigns will also be conducted to ensure that citizens are well informed on fire safety measures and protocols.
“The Federal Fire Service will work closely with local fire departments and other emergency services to ensure that all fire incidents are dealt with swiftly and effectively.
“It is worthy to note that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has extended unwavering support to the FFS. This was again demonstrated when the FFS received 8 no. of the state-of-the-art Fire Trucks, whilst expecting 15 no. of Rapid Intervention Vehicles in the coming days.
“I am pleased to inform our audience that the Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has graciously approved with immediate effect the deployment of the trucks to the following states: 2 no are to be deployed to Kano and 1 no each to Kwara, Oyo, Edo and Lagos. This will go a long way to further strengthen our fire fighting infrastructure across the country especially as the election draws closer”.
He also warned against attacks on fire officers and appliances, saying the Service would take appropriate action against the perpetrators of these attacks within the confines of the law.
“We will not tolerate any form of violence against those who risk their lives to protect us and our communities. We must ensure that our fire fighters are safe and secure while they are at the job”, he stated.
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