The Amalgamated CSOs of Nigeria (ACN), a pressure group of civil society practitioners, pro-democracy development and anti-corruption agitators, has demanded the immediate sack of the Comptroller-General of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), Abdulganiyu Jaji, for what it referred to as “gross incompetence, maladministration and non-adherence to the laid down rules of engagement, including core values of integrity, transparency and pro-active development of the workforce of the organization.” The group of CSOs noted that since Abdulganiyu took over the affairs of the FFS, the organization has witnessed gradual but steady decline in all ramifications.
In a press release issued in Lagos December 18, 2023, and jointly signed by the National President, Comrade Gbenga Ashiru Abiodun and General Secretary, Comrade Yakubu Abdullahi, the group recalled that on October 23, 2023, the Interior Minister, Dr Olubunmi Ojo, rightly referred to the CG of the Federal Fire Service (FFS): “You Are a Sleeping Giant.” This pronouncement made by the Minister, the group insisted, because “nothing positive has been heard of the organization since Abdulganiyu came on board.” They went on to also recall that the Interior Minister called for the “transformative rebranding and expansion of FFS responsibilities, which have been stifled since the present leadership took over.”
The Amalgamated CSOs said they are solidly behind the Interior Minister who reiterated that “The proposed rebranding of the Fire Service and Rescue Service seeks a shift in focus towards comprehensive risk assessment and a commitment to safeguarding lives and property.”
They also recalled that the Minister asserted, “The Federal Fire Service, very soon, when the Bill on Fire Rescue is assented to (by the National Assembly), we will play a major role on national development,” adding that, “for any country to attain its potentials, the role of the Fire Service cannot be taken for granted. I say this to the Federal Fire Service, ‘You are a Sleeping Giant.’ The time to wake up to your responsibilities is NOW!”
The Amalgamated CSOs further maintained that “the morale of staff of the FFS is the lowest in the history of the Service, as there are no enough motivation for staff, late payment of allowances, salaries and other emoluments, have increased the level of indiscipline among the rank and file, including the non-availability of enough fire trucks and equipment as the leadership is not focused on its challenges, but on self-aggrandizing issues and inordinate ambition of the leadership.”
The release also exposes the procurement process, “as sham and contract awards to cronies and friends of the CG who have continually fleeced the organization to the detriment of the work force, as they do not follow any laid down extant rules of contract awards and procurement processes.”
The group noted that they draw this conclusion because, “On several occasions, documents at our disposal show that awards of contracts to self, cronyism and relations, have become the order of the day. The management of the Fire Service is not focused on the delivery of its mandate, but are daily witch-hunting the ranks and files that are not from the ethnic stock of the CG, and causing bad blood amongst its work force, and is ostensibly responsible for the low productivity from staff as well as their lateness to work.”
It has also been diligently observed that “the operatives of the organization are cult-like, as the public and societies are not allowed to the Headquarters and several letters written, are not replied, including the Freedom of Information (FOI) letters sent by our different CSOs, under our umbrella, are also not received or answered for over a year now. The awards of contracts and procurement processes have been bastardized as the operatives of the Service are on a roller-coaster to Eldorado.”
The Amalgamated CSOs of Nigeria (ACN) will be leading a one million man march to protest this December to the Headquarters of the Federal Fire Service, for a week to ask for the removal and ouster of the current Comptroller General of the Federal Fire Service, CG Abdulganiyu Jaji for his failure to deliver on the core mandate of the FFS, as well as failure on his part, to sustained the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The group added that, it is calling on other CSOs across the 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), irrespective of whether their members of ACN or not, to join in “this epoch-making protest to remove the management of the FFS, as they have all failed to rescue the organization from its various problems, as the organization continues to be on its knees. In contrast, the leadership is hell-bent on continuously engaging in acts inimical to the progress of the Service.”
“It is owing to all these that we hereby, pass a “VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE” on the Abdulganiyu Jaji-led leadership of the Federal Fire Service and call for his immediate removal and outright sack, due to his lackadaisical attitude towards transformative initiatives and acts unbecoming of a leader of his status, heading such a sensitive organization,” the CSOs insisted that this is just the beginning more are on their way and we will fight till the necessary change is achieved and sustained.