By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
The House of Representatives has opposed the plan of government to allow men of the Federal Fire Service to carry arms.
On July 4, Af24news reported that the Federal Government announced plans to instate an arms-bearing unit called “Fire Police”, with a duty to provide outer cordon during operations.
However, an opposition motion moved by Thomas Ereyitomi, asked that instead of arming firemen, security agencies should deploy operatives to accompany firefighters when on duty.
The opposition followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary on Tuesday, titled ‘Call to Discourage Arming of Personnel of the Federal Fire Service.’
Ereyitomi noted that the announcement of the Fire Police had caused anxiety to the public due to reckless use of firearms by those, who have been licensed to use the same by their position as security agents, resulting in death or grave injuries to citizens.
The lawmaker stated that the Federal Fire Service was 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.”
Ereyitomi said, “The House believes that instead of creating an arms squad of the Federal Fire Service, adequate resources be channelled 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 urged the executive arm of government to increase the budgetary allocation of the Federal Fire Service to ensure that adequate infrastructure is put in place for efficient service delivery by the service.