Nigeria

Minister: Security men to accompany firefighters during operations

The countries according to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday said that men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) would henceforth be accompanying firefighters during emergency operations across the country.

Aregbesola said this during the inauguration of firefighting truck in Calabar by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River.

According to him, the deployment of armed men became imperative following the incessant attacks on firefighting trucks and men when responding to fire emergency calls.

He said: “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, will 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.

“Some characters just use disdain excuses to damage and attack our trucks and grievously so on personnel and this makes it difficult for them to carry out their assignment.”

He urged communities to be the first line of defence for firefighters as they stand up to own the firefighting equipment deployed to their communities to save lives and property.

“Our communities now should stand up and own the firefighting equipment deployed and procured for their use at a huge cost.

“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.

“These personnel attacked are not less 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 said

On his part, Governor Ayade said that the state was willing to acquire more modern firefighting trucks to help safeguard the lives and property of citizens.

“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 is,” he said.

He, however, said that the emergency response system in the state had remained a bit challenging because of its warning system.

“This fire happens imperiously, unplanned and most times it becomes a state of emergency,” he said.

The governor appreciated the federal government for deeming the state worthy of the deployment of one modern firefighting truck as he solicited for more.

“The state has water everywhere by the virtue of its name, so we needed a truck of this nature to help respond sharply to anywhere with fire incident,” he said.

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