The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), Dr Liman Ibrahim, has threatened to withdraw firemen from states that cannot guarantee the safety of his men.
The Service in a statement issued on Friday by its Spokesperson, Mrs Ugo Huan, said firemen should be accompanied by security personnel following the recent wave of attacks on its personnel.
While condemning the most recent attack on firemen in Kogi on Thursday night, the Service vowed that those behind the act will surely be brought to book.
It expressed grief and displeasure over the attack, pointing out that this was the second time that firemen would be attacked in Kogi while on duty.
The Service called on State governments to ensure the protection of their firemen, stressing that the service would no longer take future attacks lying low.
“It is a criminal offence for anyone to attack firefighters or fire trucks for whatsoever reasons.
“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.
“We will not fold our hands and watch our men being maimed and killed as well as fire trucks worth millions of Naira being destroyed”, the statement said.
Giving insights into the attack, the PRO in the statement said that the attack occurred along Felele road when firefighters were attempting to extinguish a car fire at the Al-Salam fuel station.
It explained that the State command had received a fire call concerning a car fire, but while approaching the scene, a mob began to attack the truck which was conveying firefighters.
The statement added that parts of the truck were destroyed while firefighters were injured and are now receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The matter has since been reported to the Police for investigation and subsequent arrest of those responsible. The Chief Security Officer of the Kogi Government house has also been informed.
“The Controller General has further substantiated his call for the establishment of an armed squad in the Federal Fire Service known as Fire Police to protect firefighters and fire trucks at fire scenes.
“The CG called on Gov. Yahya Bello to address this barbaric act by citizens of the state to avoid its reoccurrence”, the statement added.