Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to eschew politics in allocation of basic and social amenities to states.
Wike stated this during the inauguration of a fighting truck, water tanker and life support ambulance of the Federal Fire Service at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said the deployment of the facilities by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, would further help to protect life and property in the state.
The governor, who commended Aregbesola for rising above politics to identify with the state, maintained that states and Federal government should complement each other in the growth and development of the country.
He noted that Federal Government’s distribution of infrastructure projects and social amenities to states on the basis of political affiliation had hindered the country’s development over the years.
Wike stressed that denying states in the opposition of basic and social amenities, would only retard the country’s progress, adding that most incidents of fire outbreaks in the state and other parts of the country, were due to negligence.
The governor, who lamented that Nigerians were increasingly becoming nonchalant about their safety, canvassed attitudinal change.
He announced a donation of two utility vehicles and N5 million monthly subvention to the Federal Fire Service in the state to enhance its operational capability, but cautioned that the state government would stop the subvention if the service failed to deploy its personnel to assist in putting out fire outbreaks in the state.
He urged personnel of the Federal Fire Service to use the fire fighting truck and ambulance for the benefit of residents of the state.
Responding, Aregbesola urged states to prioritise fire prevention and safety, adding: “States should see fire prevention, safety as matter of very serious concern to everybody. Fire is no respecter of religion, political party or age. Anybody can be victim of fire.”
The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Bola Ilori, pointed out that the deployment of the fire fighting truck, tanker and ambulance to Rivers State was in recognition of its strategic importance to the country, particularly the building of new flyovers that have changed the landscape of Port Harcourt.
On his part, Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Ibrahim Liman, said the deployment of the fire fighting equipment was to further strengthen safety and protection of the life and property of Rivers people from fire havocs.