By Omeiza Ajayi
The Federal Fire Service FFS has explained its role in the May 26 decontamination of the School of Health Science and Technology, Ijero Ekiti in Ekiti state, dispelling insinuations that it invaded the school without due approval.
Service spokeswoman, SF Ugo Huan in a statement on Friday in Abuja said the exercise which is reported to have affected the health of some students leading to the hospitalisation of two was quite regrettable.
“The Service sympathises with the two students of the institution who are presently receiving treatment at the hospital as a result of this unfortunate incident and we wish them quick recovery.
“The Service whose mandate is to save lives and property will never intentionally or unprofessionally do anything that will affect the health or lives of Nigerians”, Huan said.
According to her, on the 14th May, 2021 a letter was sent to the school management notifying them that the Federal Fire Service COVID-19 Response Team in the State will be coming to the School to carry out decontamination exercise and that there was need for students and staff to vacate the premises for a period of 30 minutes.
She said; “The letter was acknowledged by the school and permission was also granted. The COVID-19 Desk Officer called the Registrar of the Institution on the day the team was to visit the school to inform him of their coming to which permission was also granted by the Registrar.
“When they got to the school, the team met with the Registrar and other management staff in the Registrar’s office where they still reiterated the need for the students and staff to vacate the school premises and were assured by the Registrar that students and staff had been informed of the exercise and were well out of reach as required by safety directives.
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“Trouble started 15 minutes after the decontamination exercise started with reports that some students had collapsed due to the adverse effect of the decontamination exercise. Our men immediately stopped the decontamination, but by then the students came attacking our men almost lynching them, it took the intervention of the school security who took them to the registrar’s office and later were whisked away by armed police officers of the Rapid Response Team.
“The Federal Fire Service, Ekiti State Command, commander was later invited to Ekiti State Government house where he briefed the Governor of the State, His Excellency, Governor Kayode Fayemi on what transpired.
“We want to categorically state that, the Federal Fire Service has trained all its men involved in the decontamination exercise against the spread of COVID-19 in the wake of the outbreak of COVID- 19. The Service in partnership with the ministry of environment flagged off the decontamination exercise.
“At present, the Service has established a COVID-19 Response Team in all its State Commands made up of well trained staff and representatives of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) and Environmental Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) in the handling of chemical used for the decontamination exercise. As we speak, the team is doing very well and carrying out the decontamination exercise professionally in all States of the Federation with no reported case of casualty .
“The isolated case in the School of Health Science and Technology, Ijero, Ekiti is quite unfortunate.
“The service is partnering with the State Government in the investigation already instituted by the State Government to ascertain the cause and to avert future occurrence. To also find out why this unfortunate incident happened in only School of Health Technology, Ijero Ekiti and not other schools where our men have carried out same decontamination exercises”, she added.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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