By Donald Arji
Officers of agencies under the Ministry of Interior are reportedly spoiling for a showdown with top management staff of the ministry, following alleged over-bearing tendencies of a top official in the ministry. Investigations revealed that the officers are worried that the attitude of the top official could constitute an obstacle to the smooth and efficient discharge of mandates of Para-military organizations under the ministry.
A source at the Nigeria Immigration Service who pleaded anonymity, accused the top official of demonstrating obvious and unacceptable dictatorship in the conduct of his supervisory roles. According to the source, the official, gives out orders with impunity and expects his reckless orders to be obeyed, notwithstanding its cost to public interest.
The source cited some of the official’s alleged excesses and acts of impunity to include unilateral withholding of the promotion list of Deputy Comptrollers-General of Immigration and insistence on the inclusion of an Idoma top officer in the list; withdrawal of list of deployment of senior officers recently affected by the promotion in the Service.
According to the source, this has created confusion in the Service as a number of senior Immigration Officers are stranded without schedules in Commands and Formations they wereserving in prior to their promotion.
Crime Alert findings revealed that some Assistant Comptrollers-General are heading State Commands contrary to the policy of the Service which allows only officers of the rank of Comptroller to be in-charge at that level. Worse still, there are Commands our investigations found to have more than one Comptroller.
All officers interviewed are united in their submission that this unusual development does not augur well for the Service as it has created operational difficulties, leaving many senior officers without schedules. According to a source at the Service Headquarters, the actions of the official are having a toll on the level of discipline in the Service nationwide and generally slowing down service delivery.
All the officers Crime Alert spoke to at Immigration Service alleged that the official was pursuing ethnic agenda,using his position to serve only the interest of officers of Idoma extraction. According to information gathered, he imposes the choice of Idoma officers on the leadership of the Service,either for local or foreign posting. promotion and courses.
At the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the story is not different. Sources there also accused the official of using his position to foster only the interest of Idoma people as though he was appointed to serve them alone.
According to a source at the Corps, “he ensured that Benue State took majority of the positions during the recent replacement exercise in the Civil Defence Corps, with the Idoma tribe usurping more than 90% of the chances.”
The official was also alleged to have halted the promotion of DCGs in the Nigerian Prisons Service for over one year for what observers in the Service considered aimed at serving his pecuniary interest. It took Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) obtaining approval of the Presidency to promote top officers on the authentic list of their DCGs before the top official, who was set on collision course with NPS authorities, to forward the much delayed list of the agency to the Presidency, a close source at Prisons Service revealed.
Recent events at the Ministry of Interior revealed that the top official is not only battling with officers and men of the Para-military agencies under his ministry as earlier last month (November), job seekers besieged his office in Abuja protesting against his top aides who were accused of operating a syndicate to reap them off. Some of the protesters alleged that the aides collected large sums of money from them and promised to get them jobs in the Para-military agencies under the Ministry to no avail.