The House Of Representatives has rejected a bill aiming to ensure operatives of the Federal Fire Service bear firearms.
The bill was meant to grant firefighters the power to bear arms to protect them from mob attacks while responding to emergencies.
However, the motion moved by Representative Thomas Ereyitomi was unanimously rejected by the lawmakers.
According to them, the Federal Fire Service is a civil outfit and not a security agency.
Rather than arm the service, the lawmakers advocated for it to be better equipped and positioned for improved service delivery.
The bill was aimed at creating an arms-bearing unit that will be referred to as “Fire Police”.
In defence of the motion to bear arms, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had disclosed that the decision is “part of efforts to address the challenges often faced by firefighters during operations, through mob action and vandalism of firefighting assets in the country” during the opening of the National Council on Fire.
The Minister said: “the Ministry would initiate the process of repealing the 1963 obsolete Fire Service Act and enactment of a new contemporary, vibrant, and enforceable law, through the instrument of an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation and eventual passage into law”.