The All Progressives Congress presidential campaign organisation has raised the alarm over the latest call for applications from Nigerian youths for recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), describing it as a continuation of the despicable scamming of jobless youths by the government.
The organisation said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign, Malam Garba Shehu, that this latest attempt, being supervised by a presidential committee, came on the heels of the March 15, 2014 exercise which ended in disaster across the various centres in the country.
The statement said aside the payment of N1,000 from each of the 520,000 applicants, there were very shoddy preparations made for the exercise.
Shehu said it was shocking that the input of the NIS was not sought as the Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. David Paradang, revealed at the National Assembly hearing that, for all his years in the service, there had not been a time that the recruitment of personnel in the inspectorate cadre was done outside the NIS.
In other words, Shehu said the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, solely supervised the botched recruitment exercise which resulted in the death of 19 Nigerian youths, whose only transgression was that they trusted their country for employment.
“Furthermore, in a desperate move to placate the victims and still make Moro keep his job – for obvious political reasons – President Goodluck Jonathan promised each family of the dead victims, three automatic jobs. Meanwhile, on October 14, 2014, seven months after the tragic incident, there was a protest march in Benin City against the unfulfilled presidential promise. One of the Victims, Mr. Timothy Omoagbon, said since the death of his wife, life had been unbearable.
“It would be recalled that before the March 2014 scandalous exercise, there was also a recruitment exercise some years ago (under President Jonathan) which was marred by accusation of lopsidedness and nepotism. Also four of the victims – Patience Omezie, Kasim Suleiman, Okojie Arabamen, Godwin Morka – have jointly filed a suit against Moro. Among their prayers is a declaration by the court that Moro is unfit and improper to hold public office in Nigeria having regard to his callous statement that the Nigerians who died and those injured during the exercise were careless.
“That Moro is still in charge of the interior ministry is an attestation to President Jonathan’s unwillingness to subsume narrow political interest under national interest.
“What is, however, galling in the entire saga is that another recruitment exercise is being planned when the actors in the last tragic exercise have not been penalised for their questionable conduct. The president made promises that he knew was mere bogey; it is akin to dancing on the grave of the dead.
“We consider this act as insensitive, callous and reprehensible. The Nigerian people do not deserve this ignoble treatment from their leaders. The promise of employment ought not to be as a result of the loss of lives. The welfare of the citizenry, in the legible stipulation of the constitution, still remains the primary responsibility of any government. We hold the Jonathan administration accountable for this failure. This has proven as a confirmation of the administration’s legacy of scandalous impudence.
“On our part, we promise to respect the dignity of the Nigerian people; we shall conduct the affairs of state that under our government, no Nigerian shall be oppressed. Welfare of the citizens shall remain the cornerstone of business as leaders,” shehu said.