The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Department of Fire Service has cautioned residents against bush burning as part of measures to avert fire disasters in the territory.
The director of the department, Mr. Julius Opetunsin, who led a team of fire fighters to the Palace of Ona of Abaji yesterday, said the advocacy visit was a proactive measure adopted to save lives and property.
He said the message would be spread to all rural communities in the six 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 attendant 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 communities, our royal fathers and their subjects 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," he said.
The director stressed that an officer from the department would be visiting the various domains in the area councils to sensitise the local communities.
Also, the Acting Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), 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.
In his remarks, the Ona of Abaji, 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 acquire new ones for the fire station in Abaji.