…How Interior Minister sidelined Immigration Boss from Killer Recruitment


A protest letter from the Immigration Boss, Mr. David Parradang, sheds light into a process many Nigerians believe was hijacked and terribly mismanaged by the interior minister, Comrade Abba Moro.
The embattled minister, backed by the Supervisory Board for Immigration, Civil Defence, Prisons and Fire Service, marshaled a surprisingly secret plot to hire new staff into the Immigration Service, deliberately sidelining immigration authorities from a recruitment process that turned deadly and ended in fatality penultimate Saturday.
About 18 job seekers died and several more were wounded in the stampedes across Nigerian cities as hundreds of thousands of applicants overran recruitment centres as they struggled to access locked venues. The more than 520,000 applicants were made to pay N1, 000 each for their registration.
Outraged Nigerians have called for the minister’s sack, as well as the removal of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang. The federal government said the exercise has been cancelled and that a committee will oversee another test.
President Goodluck Jonathan promised investigation in a brief mention of the tragedy on Monday. But government sources at the Federal Executive Council meeting Wednesday say the president merely warned ministers and heads of government agencies against such recruitment drives, and did not appear willing to sack officials culpable in the bloody recruitment.
But this medium has now established a troubling power play at the highest level of decision-making on the recruitment, involving Mr. Parradang on the one hand, and the minister, Mr. Moro, and members of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services board on the other.
Officials interviewed and documents obtained by this report, provide a narrative of how the interior ministry single-handedly pressed on with earlier preparations for the recruitment last year without the knowledge of Mr. Parradang, and how the Immigration comptroller-general protested the move, urging the board to suspend the exercise.
In a letter to R. Attahiru, the then secretary of the supervisory board, Mr. Parradang spoke of how embarrassed and surprised he was to learn, from a newspaper of plans to hire new hands for an organization he heads. “The said publication or advertisement for the appointment of persons into the Nigeria Immigration Service without consultation or any input whatsoever from us is to say the least, surprising and embarrassing to me,” he wrote in the letter dated September 9, 2013.

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