Activities in the Ministry of Interior were yesterday morning disrupted by protesting “dispersed recruits” of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
They said the protest followed the alleged refusal by the ministry to allow them resume after they had been trained and given letters of appointment.
The protesters were among 2,000 Nigerians recruited into the service last year by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration after the recruitment exercise, which followed the botched 2014 exercise.
They arrived the ministry at 9 am and demanded to see the Minister, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau (retd).
Some security men drawn from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as well as personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) prevented any breach of the peace.
Although the minister was not in the office, the Permanent Secretary, Bassey Akpayung, had entered his office before the protesters besieged the premises.
The protesters said they had written to relevant committees of the National Assembly, who referred their case to Dambazau.
After speaking with security operatives, the protesters delegated Solomon Ojigbe and two others to represent them in talks with the permanent secretary.
“We were recruited, trained and dispersed. All we want is reinstatement”, some of their placards read.
The protesters said they were recruited under presidential order and wondered why they were suspended by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Speaking with reporters, Ojigbe said many of his colleagues resigned from their jobs to take up the Immigration job offer.
“So many of us here resigned from our jobs. After the botched recruitment exercise in 2014, a presidential committee was set up to re-conduct the exercise and we went through a rigorous and transparent process.
“We went through the requisite training for the three months we were in camp and we were issued appointment letters and made to buy our service uniforms and other accoutrements,” he explained.
105 candidates get automatic employment
The Federal Government has given automatic employment to 105 candidates and relatives of the botched 2014 Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment as compensation for those that died and sustained injuries during the exercise.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior Mr. Bassey Akpanyung made this known in a statement in Abuja.
The statement said after due verification, employment was given to three family members of each deceased applicant from the aborted exercise, of which 15 families were identified, and a total of 45 family members selected.
It said that 60 others who were injured in the exercise were also given employment after verification by relevant government agencies.
“After verification, 15 families were identified, and a total of 45 family members selected from the deceased families.
“Similarly, approval was given for those who were injured in the same exercise to be employed.
“After due verification by relevant agencies of government, 60 of those affected were considered for appointment ,” it said.
The statement added that the two categories of beneficiaries are now undergoing training at various camps of the NIS in compliance with the presidential directive.
It said that the recruitment conducted by the Special Presidential Committee constituted in the wake of the aborted exercise of March 2014 was being looked into.
The ministry advised those affected in the exercise to remain calm and observe decorum while the ministry resolves the matter.