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Reps Oppose FG’s Plan To Allow Firemen Bear Arms

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The House of Representatives has rejected the plan to allow men of the fire service to bear arms, saying that security agencies should deploy operatives to accompany firefighters when on duty.

Moving the motion, Thomas Ereyitomi, informed the  House of the announcement by the Federal Government to present before the National Assembly, a bill to repeal the Fire Service Act and grant firefighters the power to bear arms to protect firemen from mob attacks while carrying out their duties when responding to emergencies.

Ereyitomi noted that the announcement had caused panic to the public due to reckless use of firearms by those who have been given the license to use the same by their position as security agents which has resulted in the death or cause grave injuries to citizens.

The lawmaker pointed out that the Federal Fire Service is a civil outfit and not a security agency and, therefore, “not logical to allow personnel of the outfit to bear firearms, as they do not require such arms to carry out their duties”.

He further disclosed that some mob attacks on firefighters are usually out of frustration on the part of victims when firefighters arrive late and ill-prepared to prevent emergencies.

Ereyitomi said, “The House believes that instead of creating an arms squad of the Federal Fire Service, adequate resources be channeled into improving the service delivery of the Federal Fire Service, including the provision of Fire hydrants in every local government area and updating the Global Positioning System service of the Federal Fire Service to locate emergency scenes swiftly.

“The House is worried that arming the Federal Fire Service would add to the growing concerns about the reckless use of arms by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, as doing so would be unnecessary and insensitive to the current pensive state of the nation.”

Adopting the motion, the House tasked the Executive arm of government to increase the budgetary allocation of the Federal Fire Service so that the necessary infrastructure is put in place for efficient service delivery by the Service.

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