The Federal Fire Service (FFS) has threatened to withdraw from states that cannot guarantee the safety of firefighters.
Liman Ibrahim, controller-general of the service, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
According to the statement by Ugo Huan, FFS spokesperson, firefighters responding to a distress call in Felele area of Kogi, on Thursday, were attacked by suspected hoodlums.
The FFS CG, who condemned the attack on firefighters in Kogi, said all those behind the act must be brought to book.
“The Controller General, Dr. Liman Ibrahim, says the attack on firefighters and fire trucks by hoodlums is unacceptable and those responsible will definitely not go unpunished,” the statement reads.
“The attack took place on Thursday, 9th September, 2021, along Felele road when firefighters were turning out to a car fire at Al-Salam fuel station opposite Kogi State Polytechnic. The State command had received a fire call concerning a car fire. While approaching the scene, mob armed with dangerous weapons began to attack the truck which was conveying firefighters, thereby destroying parts of the truck and injuring firefighters who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
“This is the second time in Kogi State firefighters will be attacked. The matter has since been reported to the Police for investigation and subsequent arrest of those responsible. The Chief Security Officer of the Kogi State Government house has also been informed.
“Dr. Liman, who has vowed that those behind this dastardly act will surely be punished, reiterates that it is a criminal offence for anyone to attack firefighters or fire truck for whatsoever reasons.
“He further says that his directive of blacklisting any community who continuously attacks firefighters still stands, and that henceforth, any state government that can not 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.”
Huan added that the FFS CG also said there is a need 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 this 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 so as to avoid its reoccurrence,” he added.