NIS Recruitment Tragedy: The Blame Game Continues

By IAfrica
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Mar 24th, 2014
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By Joe Igbokwe

The Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Abba Moro is supposed to be the first person to throw in the towel after the unmitigated disaster that has been the NIS Recruitment Fraud on Saturday, 15 March, 2014, where 19 Nigerians died and several others wounded. But listen to Abba Moro here: “it is odd that many of those who turned up included employed bankers, engineers, medical doctors, nurses, teachers and others who wanted to crossover to the Immigration Services at all costs.” Moro said they made adequate preparations but “they overpowered the security personnel. Many of them got impatient and very desperate to get attention, and in the process, they began to climb and jump across impossible places in order to gain access to the stadium. That was the beginning of the stampede. The crowd got more desperate when they learnt that they could get Foreign Service postings and then become pensionable. So doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers and all manner of people who had paid jobs turned up and increased our dilemma.”

Excuses, excuses and excuses everywhere and yet there are no substance. What Nigerians have been saying is that there are many ways of doing this kind of job without getting into trouble. Nigerians are insisting that the target of NIS and its contractors is money knowing that job seekers will jump for immigration jobs in Nigeria for a thousand reasons. The truth of the matter is that attention was focused on the monetary gains from the exercise and nobody thought about how to secure the stadia. It was a planned deal to make as much money as possible from the desperate, hapless youths looking for what to do to earn a living.

Abba Moro can manufacture all the excuses in the world just to retain his job but he will not convince any critical mind in this country that they planned this job very well. Abba Moro can manufacture a million lies just to cover the obvious and painful truth that they failed the simple litmus test of leadership in organizing a simple recruitment aptitude test. Even when Abba Moro succeeds in getting a million lies to cover his miserable outing, the truth will still manage to come out that he and his groups are horrible leaders and ethically wrecked monsters. It may be possible for Abba Moro to raise the level of River Benue by directing all the planetary rains to fall on it but even when he succeeds in doing that, water will always find its level.

In Nigeria nobody owns up responsibility for failures. moro forgot that the buck stops at his table. He forgot that if anything goes wrong in the Interior Ministry he is the one that will be held responsible. But this is Nigeria where nobody takes blames for anything. This has been the bane of our country.

As I write this, 492 Nigerians have gathered in Abuja for President Jonathan’s Confab on how to move Nigeria forward. On a conservative estimate 80% of these people may have contributed in one way or the other to all the troubles in our land since 1960. Senator Ita Giwa and another Confab delegate drove this fact home when the delegates gathered for the first time few days back. Whatever Nigeria is going through is a product of many years of criminal assault on project Nigeria by Nigerians, whether military or civilians.

I am surprised that Abba Moro and his gang at Interior Ministry have not attributed what transpired on Saturday 15 March, 2014 to an act of God. When a military Aircraft, C130 went down in Ejigbo Lagos during General Babangida’s era, in very unusual circumstances, killing nearly 200 passengers the Chief of Air Staff Akin Dada then called it an act of God. When the late General Abacha took over power by force on 17 November, 1993 some people described the criminality as an act of God. When Chief MKO was murdered in Abuja by the powers that be on 7 July 1998, some even described it as an act of God.

President Jonathan has done well by cancelling the tragic recruitment exercise. He has also ordered that the money extorted from our hapless and violated youths be returned. This is a welcome development but heads must roll at the country’s Interior Ministry to serve as a deterrent to others. A bungled exercise that took the lives of 19 innocent Nigerians must be linked to those who take decisions at the Interior Ministry and they must be fished out and punished. This country will never be great unless we learnt to stamp our feet and call a spade a spade. If offenders for a crime are not punished, the people’s hearts are schemed to continue to do wrong. Let us punish offenders and this country will be better for it. Charles Krauthammer warned that “punishment is meant to do more than just bring order to the State; it brings moral order to the universe. Some crimes are so terrible that the moral balance of the universe remains disturbed so long as the perpetrator walks the earth.”

The man who was responsible for dropping Atomic Bombs in the Islands of Hiroshima and Nagasaki said it is a burden he has to carry till the rest of his life. Actions carry consequences. Abba Moro and others must go for Nigeria to get better.

•Igbokwe wrote from Lagos

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