Nigéria, The Guardian, Inglês


Bayelsa government on Sunday called for the recruitment of more indigenes of the state into the Federal Fire Service to meet its quota of employment.

The call from Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa, came at the inauguration of a Rapid Response Fire-fighting truck deployed to the state command of the Federal Fire Service, at the Government House in Yenagoa.

The Governor, represented by his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, alleged that the state was being marginalised in several federal agencies where the quota system is used as a criterion for employment.

While expressing gratitude to the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service for deploying the ultramodern fire-fighting equipment to the state, Diri urged the Service to make deliberate efforts to employ Bayelsa indigenes to fill the quota meant for the state for the sake of fairness and equity.

The governor also called on the state command of the Federal Fire Service to kickstart a fire safety awareness programme on radio to enlighten the people on how to prevent fire incidents and measures to take in the event of any outbreak.

Diri, who observed that the slim-built Anti-fire Truck would enhance firefighting in the state, equally urged the Fire Service to take quick steps to deploy water craft fire-fighting equipment in the riverine communities to mitigate fire outbreaks, which he lamented, claimed a few lives this year.

He said: “We are grateful to the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service for making this unique donation to the Bayelsa State Command. Fire is like death which doesn’t make an announcement before it occurs.

“While we are not praying for fire outbreaks, we must be prepared to get rid of it whenever it occurs. So the deployment of this fire truck is a shot in the arm, in terms of our desire to make sure that in case of any fire incident, it is timely put out.

“We also want to see how fire ambulance crafts can be deployed to our rural areas because fire incidents are not restricted to urban areas alone.

“Bayelsa is about 70 per cent littoral, so we will be very appreciative if the Fire Service moves with a little bit of speed in terms of deploying water craft firefighting equipment to our riverine communities in Brass, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas.

“We also want to talk about employment of Bayelsans. I believe that Bayelsa is not having enough of its quota of those in the Federal Fire Service. We will be really looking forward to seeing how you could increase recruitment of our people.”

Earlier in his presentation, the State Controller of the Federal Fire Service, Mr Amos Diton, disclosed that Bayelsa was the only state in the entire South-South and South-East that has been allocated with this rapid response fire fighting truck.

Diton, who thanked the state government for always lending support to the Federal Fire Service in the state, appealed to the governor to provide the state command with a piece of land to build a functional operational office.

He also appealed that the leadership of the state command of the Federal Fire Service be part of the security council meetings, and the provision of a utility vehicle to enhance the operational mobility of the Command.

In another development, the Bayelsa government has indicated its interest to partner Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to intensify its advocacy on the twin issues of human and environmental rights in the Niger Delta.

Deputy governor Ewhrudjakpo gave the hint when the leadership of the Human and Environment Development Agenda (HEDA) paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Government House, Yenagoa, at the weekend.

Ewhrudjakpo, who noted that the issue of environmental and human rights is occupying the front burner in the agenda of the Bayelsa government, alleged that the Federal Government had not been fair enough to the state on the issue of protecting the Bayelsa environment.

Describing the environmental challenges occasioned by oil spills and gas flaring in the Niger Delta as worse than insecurity in the northern part of the country, the deputy governor said Bayelsa was ready to work closely with the civil society to create greater awareness on the issues.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of HEDA, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, said their visit was part of civil society engagement of states in the Niger Delta on the issues pertaining to human and environmental rights.

Suraju pointed out that the HEDA was ready to partner the state government to promote advocacy on its report on environmental injustice and terrorism in Bayelsa and the entire Niger Delta region.

He maintained that if other states in the Niger Delta region had done what Bayelsa had done, more global attention would have been given to the problem of environmental injustice facing the region.

The visiting HEDA team also had the Director of Corner House, United Kingdom, Mr Nicholas Hildyard, and the Legal Advisor, Ms Cecilia Ogwuche.



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