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Fire Service threatens to shut operations in states that can’t protect staff, assets from attacks



The Federal Fire Service has decried Wednesday’s attack on firemen by hoodlums in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, threatening to pull out of any state that cannot guarantee the safety of firefighters, and its assets.

This comes after the personnel of the Service were attacked during an operation by residents of Lokoja.

According to the Service, this is the second time firefighters would be attacked in the state, arguing that the continued attacks on its personnel and assets have further justified the call to arm the service through the establishment of Fire Police.

Reacting to the incident, Controller General of Fire, Dr Liman Ibrahim said the attack on firefighters and fire trucks by the hoodlums was unacceptable, noting that those responsible will not go unpunished.

READ ALSO: Fire service seeks establishment of arms bearing unit

In a statement signed by the spokesman of the Service, DSF Ugo Huan, the Controller General was quoted to have explained that the attack took place on Wednesday, September 9, 2021, along Felele road when firefighters were turning out to a car fire at Al-Salam fuel station opposite the Kogi State Polytechnic.

According to the statement, the service had received a fire call concerning a car fire but on approaching the scene, a mob armed with dangerous weapons attacked the truck conveying firefighters, destroyed parts of the truck and injured firefighters, who are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

Also, the statement noted that the matter had been reported to the Police for investigation and subsequent arrest of those responsible; saying the Chief Security Officer of the state’s Government House has also been informed.

The statement read, “He (Ibrahim) further said his directive of blacklisting any community who continuously attacks firefighters still stands and that henceforth any state government that cannot ensure the protection of Federal Fire Service, firefighters and equipment in their states will leave the Service with no other option but to withdraw its presence from the State, as he will not fold his hands and watch his men being maimed and killed as well as fire trucks worth millions of Naira been destroyed.

“The Controller General who said this attack which is one amongst many has further proven his call for the establishment of an armed squad in the Federal Fire Service known as Fire Police who will be saddled with the responsibility of protecting firefighters and fire trucks at fire scenes because these hoodlums are emboldened to attack firefighters because they know that they don’t have the protection of armed men.

“The CG has called on the Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello to address this barbaric act by citizens of the state to avoid its reoccurrence.”

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