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Published On: Sun, Jan 4th, 2015

Rejoinder: Abba Moro’s mess revisited

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Abba MoroMonday Column by Ime Unaowo Nta

My rejoinder as a serving Immigration Officer, Special Assistant on Immigration to the Interior Minister and most importantly an accredited observer of the Board during the ill-fated recruitment exercise at National Stadium, Abuja, is borne out of my fruitful interface with the author of the Monday Column, Emmanuel Yawe, on the 31st December, 2014, primarily to reaffirm the same facts in my interview of People’s Daily, August, 8, 2014 captioned “Nepotism cause Immigration recruitment fiasco, says NIS Chief Superintendent’’.

As an eye witness,it was the bitter truth thatimpatience due to desperation from the applicants led to their lost lives but such would have been averted if not the glaring cases of operation failure, insensibility, negligence, indiscipline, poor crowd  management skills among others by the Nigerian Immigration Service. Regrettably, a collective decision of Board collective quest for transparent and fair recruitment and the Hon. Minister’s noble intention to redress the malaise that had bedevilled the Service before the appointment of Comrade Abba Moro as Interior Minister ended up tragic because of poor handling by the Immigration Service with me inclusive as a serving officer.

The mother of all irregularities as highlighted by Mr Emmanuel Yawe in his Monday Column of Peoples Daily was not only incorrect but a product of the propaganda machinery of the Service, just as Mr Joseph Gobies who as the Minister of propaganda under the reign of Adolf Hitler did same to cajole the sensibilities of Germans. However, without prejudice to any person(s), I highlight the un-der mentioned incontrovertible facts to correct the erroneous assertions. Firstly, the Comptroller General of Immigration participated in all the steering meeting of the Board on 30th, January, 2014, his representative-Oyedeji. T.V 7th, 12th, February, 2014, 5th, March, 2014, absent on 7th, March, 2014, Comptroller General on 10th, March, 2014 and Oyedele T.V. on 11th, March, 2014 respectively.

As a follow-up of the Board meetings, the Comptroller General gave press release on Daily Trust, March 6,2014, captioned’’ Recruitment: Immigration exams to hold March 15, 2014, issued circulars to all Immigration formations for the recruitment exercise and also assigned Deputy Comptrollers Generals to all zones to ensure compliance. Maybe, the tragedy would have been averted if the Deputy Comptroller General-   just as his boss-the Comptroller General that preferred to attend his Governor’s birth day party instead of monitoring the National assignment, did not also reneged from his responsibility of physical supervision of the preparation and exercise at Abuja National Stadium to his comfort at the office of the Director/Secretary,

It is a common knowledge that any delegated powers can be so withdrawn by the issuing authority if so abused, and the Board of fourteen members and not the Hon. Minister who only presides as the Chairman acted in good faith and the overall National interest by doing the needful to redress the malaise of his predecessors that started before the appointment of Comrade Abba Moro.

It would have amounted to administrative blunders if it is true as alleged that David Parrandang protested in a letter to the Secretary of the Board who is a sub-ordinate of the Board Chairman and not the other way round.There is no wider consultation to avoid a repeat of the past than the Comptroller General learning from the experiences of a widely advertised recruitment exercise he conducted at Enugu Command in 2008 as a Comptroller where over fifteen applicants died in the process.

I doubt if the then Director/Secretary made such assertion as alleged but from the record of the Board minutes it was true that efforts were made to shift thedates but due to lack of cogent reasons was over ruled by majority of members.

Contracting private company on PPP for recruitment exercise in Nigeria by Immigration Service is not the first time in Nigeria, the Nigerian Army and others have engaged same and it is the practice in the 21 century. The one thousand Naira charged by Drexel Technical Nigeria Limited was for services rendered to applicants on the on-line application and not for logistic and operation cost of the recruitment exercise.

What should be uttermost in the mind of any reasonable and sincere person are the advantages of the services rendered by the one thousand Naira on line applications as against travelling to Abuja to submit the hard copies application, and not dissipating energy on the status or aggregate sum realised by an indigenous company under a private public partnership driven economy.

Lack of logistic and funds are diversionary excuses for the failure because Drexel Technical Nigeria Limited magnanimously gave the then Board Director/Secretary a sum of forty five Million after the intervention of the Hon. Minister to compliments the budgeted amounts and financial supports from state Governments.

 The ill-fated recruitment of 15th, March, 2014 was the quota for recruitment of his predecessor-Mrs Rose Uzoma that was aborted due to identifiable infractions of  clandestine recruitment at Asokoro Primary school, extortions, etc; and was already budgeted during her tenure.

The Comptroller General and his entire family would not have paid homage to thank the Hon. Minister in his residence on the eve of his appointment, if the insinuation   that the Hon. Minister tried to prevent his emergence as Comptroller General is true. The close associates of the Hon. Minister knows  that  Comrade Abba Moro has no  any ill-feelings against the Comptroller General and by all standards in age, status and intellectual capacity cannot equate himself with his son.

Just as I know the heart beats of my officers on the leadership qualities of our CGI, so also does the President knows the worth and credibility of those he appointed as Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, so I reserved my comments on the praises of the reporter on the Comptroller General, and Mr President distancing its self from un-substantiated purported assertion of Abba Moro’s Mess.

Ime Unaowo Nta via Imenta56 @ yahoo.com.

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