The immediate past Interior Minister, Comrade Abba Moro, yesterday said he was not responsible for the predicament of the former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. David Parradang.
Parradang was first suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari for illegal recruitment of about 1600 immigration staff. While on suspension, his replacement, Kure Martin Abeshi, was announced.
Both Moro and Parradang were last year enmeshed in controversy when some job seekers were killed and several others injured at a poorly organized recruitment exercise by the NIS.
Despite the tragedy and calls from majority of Nigerians for the duo’s sack, the former administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan left them in office.
In his first public statement since he left office in May, Mr. Moro said the rot in the service is a result of Parradang’s leadership disposition, which according to him, encouraged and promoted gross indiscipline.
He also expressed shock at recent reports attributing the rot in the immigration service to him, saying, “It was purely an attempt to divert the attention of the public from the issue of illegal recruitment carried out under his watch”.
Moro’s statement read: “As Minister, I introduced various reforms to curtail corruption in the Nigeria Immigration Service. At various fora, I never lost the opportunity to point out the rot in the Immigration Service. When four Public Relations Officers (PROs) of four companies based in Lagos complained of being fleeced via Expatriate quota implementation by the Nigeria Immigration Service, I set up a committee on abuse of expatriate quota administration. Mr. Parradang frustrated the committee. When complaints of certificate forgery were raised, I set a committee on Certificate forgery. Again, Mr. Parradang frustrated the committee.
“Across the Services in the Ministry of Interior, several serving officers have been found to have corrupted themselves, have been investigated, some dismissed and handed over to the Police for prosecution; some found guilty, some jailed in the Civil Defence, Prison and Fire Services. A very senior officer of the Federal Fire Service who collected money of close to one hundred million naira only (#100,000,000) was investigated, found guilty for extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public for job and was handed over to the Police for prosecution. Yet an officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service under Mr. Parradang’s watch, who was found guilty of a similar offence was shielded despite repeated directives for action against him.
“It is pertinent to ask here; what has promotion/posting got to do with the present issue of illegal recruitment by Mr. Parradang and his Presidential Committee and Mr. Parradang’s insubordinate refusal to reverse the illegality as directed by a competent authority? What has Abba Moro got to do with that? In his paranoid desire to always disobey the Minister’s instructions, perhaps, Mr. Parradang thought I was still Minister giving instructions.
“Did Abba Moro go away with Mr. Parradang’s thinking cap? I am certainly not responsible for Mr. Parradang’s present predicament. I will not certainly allow myself to be a pawn in Mr. Parradang’s cynical strategy to cover up his leadership inertia”.