Plateau residents bemoan government’s purchase of three towing vans
The Plateau State Government’s preparedness to respond to emergency situations is at best slippery and dicey.
The state government can not be said to be fully prepared for serious emergencies, neither can it be said that it is totally negligent.
For example, the last heavy rains that nearly resulted to flooding was not envisaged despite the fact that the roads are good.
There have been several cases of road accidents. The State Government had just bought new patrol vehicles for its Vehicles Inspection Unit (VIU) and towing vans for removing scraps, broken down vehicles and accidents, which are never planned for.
Rufus Joseph who spoke to The Guardian said although the state government has tried, it needed to do more as the best has not been achieved, questioning how only three toeing vans can be enough for the whole state?
“These special vehicles are very costly. But then, the government still has to try its best,” he said.
On the state response to fire incidents, he explained that the Fire Service was trying its best, having succeeded in fighting inferno in most parts of the state.
For example, the multi-million naira female section of the Jos Central Mosque that was gutted by fire last year was quenched by the fire service.
Speaking in his office, the Zonal Commander, Jos Fire Station, Sati Matthew, said that they have enough manpower at the moment, adding however, that it would be appreciated if the state government deems it necessary to recruit more manpower for the service.
His words: “We have enough manpower. But if government gives us more, we will take it, we will not reject it. We thank the government in that regard and we also have enough equipment. We are well equipped because new vehicles are being bought by government in case of emergency.”
He appealed to the people to cooperate with the service in times of emergency as fire fighting was done free of charge, adding: “Unfortunately, the people stone us during emergencies for reasons we don’t know, whereas the fault is not from us.”
While exonerating his staff from blame, Matthew urged the people to report incidents of fire outbreak promptly because if they do not report and promptly too, they will not know.
He said there are six fire-fighting vehicles in the state, pointing out that one vehicle is stationed at Government House, Rayfield, Jos, while one each is stationed in Bukuru, Pankshin, Mangu, Bokkos, Langtang and Shendam.
He was optimistic however, that by God’s Grace, all the 17 local councils in the state will have fire fighting stations and gave out the phone numbers to call so that they will rise to the occasion immediately during emergencies.