Malam Musa Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has warned residents against bush burning and use of fireworks ahead of the Yuletide season.
Bello gave the warning on Wednesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the 2020 Dry Season Campaign on Fire Safety organised by the FCT Fire Service in collaboration with Tesodes Ventures.
The minister said that officers and men of the fire service would be going round the communities to ensure compliance.
Represented by the Director, Legal Department, Mr Issah Abdulahi, Bello urged residents to cooperate with the fire service toward ensuring safety for all.
In his remarks, the acting Director, FCT Fire Service, Mr Sani Saidu, said that ﬁre disaster was usually more common in the Harmattan season.
According to him, destruction arising from ﬁre outbreak has always been colossal both in terms of property and the ecosystem.
He said that the FCT minister had mandated the service to carry out an awareness drive to sensitise the farming communities on the dangers associated with indiscriminate bush burning.
“The signiﬁcance of this year’s campaign cannot be over emphasised as it coincides with the yuletide celebration where a lot of cooking takes place and ﬁreworks displays by the youth.
“The minister has banned ﬁreworks and indiscriminate bush burning.
“As we kick start this campaign, be assured that our officers from the various stations will be visiting the communities with this same message.
“I humbly plead with local chiefs to cooperate with them for the success of the exercise,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Tesodes Ventures, Mr Cyprian Effa, had said that recent ﬁre statistics released by the Data Collation Centre showed that the FCT Fire Service received 388 fire outbreak calls between January to September.
“Incidentally, most fire outbreaks are caused by human errors either by omission or commission.
“If these errors are not checked, destruction of lives and property arising from ﬁre outbreaks will continue to be on the increase.
“The principal objective of this year‘s Dry Season Fire Sensitisation programme is to deal with the speciﬁc root causes of fire outbreaks and how to curb the trend.
“We want an overall reduction of ﬁre disasters in the FCT,” he said.
Effa said that a major goal of the campaign was to build a culture of fire safety.
Responding, the Traditional Ruler, Sakpeyi Garki, Alhaji Usman Ngakupyi, commended the fire service for carrying out their duties diligently.
He said that men of the service had often demonstrated their commitment to duty through quick responses to fire incidents.
Ngakupyi pledged to carry the message on bush burning and use of fireworks down to the communities to ensure compliance.
He advised residents to observe fire safety rules and ensure that all electric fittings were put off when not in use.
The Chairman, Garki Youth Association, Mr Emmanuel Danbaki, in his remark, pledged to speak with youths on the need to stop bush burning.
He, however, drew the attention of the minister to the lack of “even one” fire station at the Apo Resettlement area of Garki.
The chairman said that there was a provision for a fire station when the resettlement was being built.