Editorial

Ungratefulness and act of wickedness to firefighters is an appalling act of vagabonds

By HARRIS Nwabueze

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How do I understand that in this century, people still think of mobbing the firefighters who came to assist in extinguishing a burning fire they do not know how it started and who’s being affected.

People still think of attacking firefighters who put in their lives to save another, firefighters who put in their lives to save properties that are not theirs, properties they do not know who owns it/them.

How can these vipers in human form forget that these firefighters have families they care for, families that survive on them…

They left their families behind to save other families, their families know that they are out struggling with fire, something so dangerous to save people’s lives and properties and they await their returns unhurt thereafter.

It’s difficult to understand, why fire will be threatening people’s lives and ravaging properties and a normal human being will be interested and focused on stoning and beating firefighters who were called and they responded, they only came to assist in containing the fire.

The latest massive mob attack on Anambra State Fire Service was on Sunday, 1st January, 2023, at Uga Junction by Atani Road, Onitsha. What a way to celebrate a new year, very ugly new year experience 😭

According to the State Fire Chief Agbili Martin Agility, the firemen had received a distress call at about 1800hours, informing them of fire incident at Uga junction by Atani road, and a Fire truck and Firefighters were deployed to the scene immediately. Arriving the fire scene, behold a group of jobless and displaced persons throwing stones, sticks, irons and other weapons at them. They were attacked mercilessly, some of the firefighters got wounded with degrees of injuries. The Fire truck was destroyed, the windscreen and the side glasses shattered.

“While they throw stones, irons and sticks at us, the fire was still on, what we could hear was, “is it now that you people are coming to fight the fire?”. As the throwing of stones, sticks and irons increased, we managed to escape the mob attack with our shattered windscreen and some injured Firefighters. This gift of new year is really unfortunate, that our hardworking Firefighters of Anambra State will be welcomed to the new year with this barbaric act. The preparators of this ugly act will surely be brought to book. Now that they have destroyed our fire truck and wounded our firefighters, if there is another fire outbreak in that area or within that axis, I hope they will still call Fire Service to come to their rescue as usual.” – Agility said.

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These firefighters are not the cause of the fire, neither were they there at the scene when the fire started, nor get notification before the fire started. Why then are we beating them? What exactly is their offense?

Firefighters do not disappear and appear at the fire scene immediately you call them. They have some distance to cover before getting to the scene. The distance of the fire station is not always close to the fire scene, consider the traffics too.

Also, I have always maintained in this space that the time of call determines the time of response in firefighting. Before you blame firemen for arriving late, try to find out the time they were called. They are not spirits to know what is happening in your area if you do not call them. They also cannot arrive the fire scene early when you actually called them late.

If you know what these firemen go through daily in firefighting, if you know how many fire outbreaks they succeed in containing, especially in this festive and dry season while you enjoy yourselves at home, then you will see 1001 reasons to appreciate them, for they have always give in their bests to Ndị Anambra.

Anambra Firefighters deserve accolades, appreciation, encouragement. Do not beat, attack, mob nor molest them.

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