Metro & Crime

We’re too terrified to attend to emergencies, LASEMA raises alarm

…Says agency under attack

Muritala Ayinla

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has raised the alarm that
its personnel and vehicles have been under attack and harassment since the protests started, saying that its not its tradition to refuse to attend to emergencies.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, who disclosed this, also denied the allegations of the agency’s refusal to come to come to the aide of the protesters.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to various allegations of our refusal to come to the aid of protesters and wish to state for the record that this is categorically untrue.
“Our personnel and vehicles have been under attack and harassment since the protests started and we have struggled to maintain a presence while still keeping our personnel safe.
“Our emergency response lines (112/767) developed a fault early hours of Monday morning and despite a number of failsafes and temporary fixes, went into shutdown mode on Tuesday. To forestall any incident, we circulated alternative numbers including the direct line of the Director General/CEO.”
According to him, contrary to speculation that the agency was directed not to rescue the protesters, LASEMA was rendered incapacitated by the damage done on its vehicles.
“We also wish to categorically debunk the allegation that there were any ‘instructions’ not to respond to incidents. Our personnel were simply terrified by the angry mob that stormed the Lekki Dispatch Centre last night. Even today, we and the other emergency responders have been unable to respond to fires due to our vehicles’ being attacked.
“We appeal for calm and for your understanding as we attempt to play our part in keeping Lagosians safe. We deeply sympathise with all those who have lost loved ones and fully acknowledge the rights of Nigerians to peacefully protest while making their demands known. God bless Nigeria.”

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