Some officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service have blamed the tragedy which befell job applicants at the various screening centres on the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.
No fewer than 20 applicants were said to have lost their lives during stampedes at various screening centres in the country last Saturday.
The officers, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the blame should be put on Moro and the consulting firm that handled the recruitment exercise.
One of the officers, who was at the National Stadium in Lagos State to supervise the exercise, said, “The NIS made no money from the exercise. The said N1,000 was not paid to immigration officers but into the bank account of Drexel Nigeria Limited, the consulting firm which handled the exercise.
“We were not even carried along and were not even informed of the number of applicants to expect. We were formally informed of the exercise three days ahead and did not even have enough time to strategise. We even got most of our information from the pages of newspapers.
“The minister and the consulting firm handled the whole thing. If we were actively involved, we would not have asked all applicants to come on the same day. Also, we would have separated the applicants by virtue of the ranks they were applying for.”
The officers said the minister had ordered immigration officers, including the Comptroller General, Mr. David Parradang, not to make any comment about the issue.
They said the minister had begun heaping blame on the immigration authorities in a bid to absolve himself of blame.
They said it was the tactics Moro used in absolving himself of blame when the former CG, Rosemary Uzomah, was involved in a recruitment scandal.
“The minister is too authoritative and runs the affairs of the agencies directly even in cases where he should not. For instance, in the past, ministers were not actively involved in posting of officers but could recommend to some extent.
“However, the minister now puts people wherever he wants. In fact, there was a letter of posting which he signed personally,”one of the officers said.
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