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Rights group berates Federal, State Fire Services over Lokoja gas tanker explosion

KOGI, Nigeria – The Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Comrade Idris Abdul Miliki, has criticized the Federal and the State Fire Service for their inability to reduce the casualties of the tanker explosion that claimed the life of over 23 persons and the inferno that occurred in a multi-million naira shop in Kogi State within three days.

Miliki, while speaking to newsmen on Saturday, described the latest incidences of fire outbreak in the State as very unfortunate, avoidable, condemnable, explaining that the institutions of the Federal and State Government had failed in their responsibilities.

He said both the Federal and the State owned institutions were not being proactive and alive to their responsibilities.

The activist further noted that in the last three years, the state has had series of fire outbreaks with no commensurate response by the State and Federal Fire Service.

According to him, “Peelinks is just some metres away from the Office of the Federal Fire Service in the Federal Ministry of Works. The Peelinks Complex is equally not up to a Kilometer away from the office of the State Ministry of Works.

“Yet no help came to salvage the fire outbreak in the Peelinks Complex. Does it mean that people were not on duty? Does it mean that they lack the necessary equipments to work? Are they properly funded?

“We’ve always advocated that each local government should be equipped with a fire service but it is unfortunate that Government does not have its priorities right.

“We are using this medium to call on the Kogi State Government to as a matter of urgency resuscitate the State Fire Services.

“We’ll continue to blame institutional failures for the inability to put off fire outbreaks in the state.

“Kogi State is witnessing infrastructure decay; despite the present administration having assessed over N350billion, we’re not seeing tangible efforts to mitigate disaster.

“There is nothing the present administration is doing to curtail the flood disaster that has hit the state. This Government has no housing scheme to relocate people affected.

“Today the Federal Medical Centre has been locked for several months, with the State Government not showing any concern.

“We, therefore, call on the State Government to quickly resuscitate the state fire services.

“I equally call on the private sectors to contribute and partner in supporting agencies saddled with the responsibility of disaster management because no one is free from disaster,” Miliki lamented.

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