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Abba Moro, Parradang To Appear Before Senate Over Recruitment Death

WITH the country still reeling from the death of about 21 persons during the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) across the country,There were indications on Sunday that the Senate Committee on Interior had invited the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro and the Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr. David Paradang to appear before them and explain the circumstances that led to the tragic deaths.

It asked four of its committees; Interior, Justice, Public Service Matters and Labour and Productivity to investigate the matter and report to the House within four weeks. The lawmakers also directed Immigration authorities to offer the families of the victims automatic employment provided they have a qualified applicant that can fill any of the vacant positions.

The decision followed a motion brought to the floor of the House by Rep Sunday Karimi, PDP, Kogi State under matters of national importance.
In the motion entitled: “Tragedy at 2014 immigration exercise in which one million Nigerian youths scrambled for 4,500 job placements,” Karimi claimed that the exercise was haphazardly conducted.

Karimi had in his motion prayed the House to:
• Condemn unequivocally the handling of the recruitment exercise of the Nigerian Immigration Service of March 15, 2014 and commiserate with the families of applicants who lost their lives and also empathize with those who suffered injuries as a result of the exercise.
• That the Comptroller General of the Immigration Service and the Minister of Interior must appear before this House to explain the unwieldy recruitment exercise of March 15th 2014.
• That the Federal Government of Nigeria should work in conjunction with the State and Local Governments and Public spirited individuals and organisations, including religious organisations, to evolve a job creation scheme that will best address the unemployment situation in Nigeria.
• That a microcredit scheme to be known as the Nigerian Youth Empowerment Programme should be set up to assist Nigerian youths who are keenly interested in handcraft and small businesses. This will at least immortalise those that lost their lives.
• That forthwith, all mass recruitment exercises into Federal Government agencies must be done via the Internet and in more conducive environment than that of last Saturday.

In a similar vein, the Senate Committee on Interior is to probe last Saturday’s incident.

Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and 10 others, in a motion of urgent national interest, described the engagement of consultants who charged N1,000 per applicant as a new development in employment into the Service.

The lead sponsor of the motion titled Nigerian Immigration Service Nationwide Aptitude Test and Physical Examination of March 15, 2014, Bagudu, noted that prior to the exercise, employment into the Service was done in two ways. Bagudu recalled that following Federal Government’s approval, an attempt was made to conduct recruitment exercise by the former Comptroller General, Rosemary Uzoma, but was cancelled due to controversies surrounding the process.

He said: “The Senate had in January 2013 debated a motion on employment irregularities in agencies including the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“Observes that with the cancellation of the exercise in 2013, the Ministry of Interior engaged consultants to provide an online platform for interested persons to apply while charging N1,000 per application.”

The lawmaker representing Kebbi Central also declined newspaper reports that members of the committee were allotted employment slots. As the chairman, he denied receiving any slot, stressing that it was the committee’s insistence on a transparent process that prompted government to seek alternative means of conducting the test.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has set up a committee to conduct a full-scale investigation into the allegations of human rights violations at the events. NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Ben Angwe, expressed concern about the “avoidable death”, saying, “mainstreaming human rights in the work of every organisation is what is needed to avoid such incident in future.”

Prof. Angwe, who expressed this view when he received in audience members of Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights who came to lodge their complaint against NIS relevant authorities with regard to the exercise, said he has ordered the Human Rights Monitoring Department of the Commission in the FCT, Niger, Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Benin offices where stampede resulting in the death of the victims occurred to submit interim reports containing information on what happened, including identities of dead and injured persons.

Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Executive Committee in a communiqué signed by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at its ninth meeting yesterday in Abuja called for investigations to unravel the circumstances that led to the deaths. The party stressed the need to find out who authorised the “fleecing” of job seekers by a government agency, what happened to the money realised from the “heist” and why the relevant officials did not ensure a better arrangement that could have saved precious lives.

Similarly, the President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, yesterday called for a transparent and public probe of what it described as “despicable show of shame and monumental tragedy. The NMA urged the Federal Government to ensure the return of the N1,000 paid by all the applicants with adequate compensation to all the victims of the National Immigration Service tragedy.

However, member representing Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Emmanuel Lokji Go’ar, has condemned those calling for the removal of the Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro and the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. David Shikfu Paradang, describing them as selfish people pursuing an agenda.




Culled from Vanguard.

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