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Ekiti govt condemns attack on fire officers


The Ekiti State Government has cautioned the residents to desist from incessant attacks on fire service personnel and other public servants in the state in the cause of performing their official duties.

The Director-General, Office of Transformation and Service Delivery, Mobolaji Aluko, gave the warning during a press briefing in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday.

Mr Aluko, who also oversees the the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, said the government would no longer tolerate the incessant attacks on public servants under the guise of protesting lateness during emergencies.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Aluko spoke against the backdrop of last weekend’s attack on officers of the State and Federal Fire Services and their equipment in Moferere area of Ado Ekiti, while attending to a fire incident.

Mr Aluko, who was in company of the Special Adviser, Governor’s Office and Overseer of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Foluso Daramola, condemned the unruly behaviours of residents of the area against the fire officers.

According to him, those arrested in connection with the act would be prosecuted.

Mr Aluko said the officials were recruited to save lives and property in times of emergency, adding that “continued threats to their lives, discourage them from putting in their best as well as shunning distress calls.”

He appealed to the Federal Fire Service not to see the attack by a few residents as an attack against the Federal Government.

Mr Aluko who assured the officers of adequate safety from the state government implored them to continue to provide the necessary and desired services to the people.

He said the government would step up its sensitisation of residents on fire prevention techniques to reduce incidence of fire outbreak rather than dissipate all its resources toward fighting fire outbreaks.

Mr Aluko reminded the residents that distance to the point of fire outbreaks and difficulty in locating the addresses could hamper movement to the venues; thereby causing lateness.

“A fire incident occurred at about 8.00 p.m. at a house in Moferere area of Ado Ekiti and at some point or the other, both the state and federal fire services responded to the call, eventually, the house was completely conflagrated.

“But what bring us here today is not just the fire itself, but what happened when Federal Fire Service appliance arrived at the site soon after the call was made.

“They arrived there, ready to contain the fire, only to be confronted by hundreds of residents and hoodlums throwing stones at their vehicle and the windscreen was smashed.

“The governor is extremely horrified about such act by citizens of the state against employees of state or federal governments who were sent to the site to assist the citizens of the state.

“If something like that is allowed to happen without any sanction, then we can send ‘water people’ to a place and then they will be attacked.

“A number of arrests have been made and we want to be sure that those who were masterminds of such unnecessary attacks are brought to justice so that something like that will not continue.

“We require them to continue to assist our state services, they are development partners within the state whatever it is that our state services cannot do, they will do and vice versa.

“And if they now step down their activities, even our own state services may be frightened to go to where they are supposed to go if they feel threatened,” he said.

Earlier, Gbenga Omoniyi, Director, Ekiti State Fire Services and and his Federal Fire Services counterpart, Adeyemi Ariyo, condemned the act.

They called on the state government to put in place measures towards curtailing such occurrences in the future.