By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of proactive measures toward mitigating devastating fire disaster during the dry season, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC ) through its Department of Fire Service commenced FCT annual enlightenment campaign against bush burning especially in rural areas of the Territory.
In particular, FCT Fire Service yesterday took its 2020 anti-bush burning campaign with the theme: “Indiscriminate Bush Burning”, to the Ona or Abaji Palace.
Our correspondent reports that the campaign is in the wake of the commencement of dry season farming activities in the Territory.
According to the Department, for this year, it adopted a collaborative approach, in order to reach out to the teeming farming populations through the traditional institutions, and also prevent fire disaster.
Speaking during the exercise, Director, FCT Department of Fire Service, Mr. Julius Opetunsin, who led a team of top fire fighters to the Palace of Ona of Abaji, said the proactive measures were adopted to save lives and properties.
Opetunsin also noted that while the flag off of the campaign started at Abaji Area Council, The message would also be spread to all rural communities within all the remaining Area Councils.
He said, “the choice of Abaji for this year’s flag off is to bring the campaign to the grassroots where most farming activities take place with its attendance consequences.
“This is because destruction from fire outbreaks in farms and other property are always colossal, and therefore all hands must be on deck to curtail its occurrence.
“ The department is calling on all the farming community, our Royal Fathers and their subject to desist from indiscriminate Bush burning.
“We therefore advise that in case you want to adopt Bush burning approach as an alternative, let it be controlled burning so as to protect your property and that of your neighbour.
“As we flag off this campaign today, I wish to stress that the officer from the department will be visiting The various domains in the Area Council to sensitive the local communities.”
Similarly, AMMC’s Acting Coordinator, Mallam Suleiman Abdulrameed, stated that FCT administration’s ban on indiscriminate farming activities within the City Centre is still in force.
Abdulrameed, who was represented by AMMC’s Director, Legal, Mr. Isa Bin Abdullahi, noted that enforcement of the ban was not to deny residents of legitimate means of livelihood, but to ensure sanity and adherence to the city’s master plan.
“ Permit me to reiterate the Hon. Minister’s directives that banned farming activities in some designated areas in the FCT. That directive is still in force and must be adhered to.
“ The essence is not to deny the residents of their rightful means of livelihood but to pursue the master plan of making Abuja a dream city”, he said.
In his remarks, the Ona of Abaji, His Royal Highness, Adamu Baba Yunusa urged the department of fire service to show more commitment in the discharge of its statutory duties.
He also called on FCT Administration to replace all ageing fire equipment, as well as acquiring new ones for the fire station in Abaji.