Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Government has cautioned residents of the state against attacking officials and operational vehicles of men of the Fire Service as well as other public servants in the cause of carrying out their official duties.
Speaking at a press conference in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the Director-General, Office of Transformation and Service Delivery and Overseer of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, said incessant attacks on public officials under the guise of protesting against lateness would no longer be tolerated by the state government.
He spoke against the background of last weekend attack on officers of the State and Federal Fire Services and equipment in Moferere area of Ado Ekiti, while attending to a fire incident.
Aluko, who was in company of the Special Adviser, Governor’s Office and Overseer of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Evang Foluso Daramola, frowned at the dastardly act by the residents of the area, saying those arrested in connection with the act would be prosecuted.
He noted that 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.
Aluko used the opportunity to appeal to the Federal Fire Service that the attack by a few residents of the area was not an attack against the federal government, imploring them to continue to provide the necessary and desired services to the people, adding that the state government would henceforth ensure their
The government, he said, would step up its sensitisation of residents on fire prevention techniques to reduce incidence of fire outbreak rather than dissipate its energy and resources to fighting fire.The director-general also reminded residents that despite the fact that fire service officials are always on standby, distance to the point of fire outbreak and difficulty in locating the address could hamper movement to the venue thereby causing lateness.
He said: “A fire incident occurred at about 8 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 brings 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 smashed the windscreen.”
In their separate statements, the Director, Ekiti State Fire Services, Mr. Gbenga Omoniyi, and his Federal Fire Services counterpart, Mr. Adeyemi Ariyo, condemned the act, and called on the state government to stop any reoccurrence of such act.