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LAWMAKERS THROW AWAY FG’S PLAN TO ARM FIREFIGHTERS WITH GUNS

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Lawmakers say the Federal Government should improve service delivery instead.

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution to discourage the Federal Government from its moves to arm personnel of the Federal Fire Service with firearms.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, earlier this month said firefighters should be armed to more effectively confront the challenges of mob action and vandalism they face on the field.

He said an executive bill would be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation, and eventual passage into law.

However, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi, during plenary on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, raised a motion against the plan, noting that firefighters don’t require guns for their civil duties.

He noted that the mob action they face on accident scenes is mostly due to frustration with their service, especially when they arrive late or ill-equipped.

“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, updating the Global Positioning System (GPS) service of the Federal Fire Service to locate emergency scenes swiftly,” he said.

He cautioned that arming firefighters would add to the growing concerns of Nigerians who are already terrorised by the reckless use of firearms by security agents.

His motion was passed by a majority of lawmakers through a voice vote.

The House urged security agencies to assign officers to accompany firefighters to emergency scenes, and curb criminality.

The chamber also urged the Federal Government to increase the budgetary allocation of the Federal Fire Service to make it more efficient.

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