By now, it is clear to all Nigerians that greed was the primary motive for the process adopted in conducting the botched and deadly Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment exercise which claimed over 20 lives.
Since the unfortunate incident, facts have continually emerged as to how the minister for Interior, Abba Moro, and his phoney consultants deliberately undermined the NIS recruitment exercise in order to make quick money. It is now evident that Moro’s idea was to rip off young Nigerians desperate to secure employment, become multi-millionaire at their expense and pretend that his boss’ transformation agenda is on course. How low of him.
But perhaps the most irritating about Abba Moro’s conduct was his attempt to put the blame on the applicants’ impatience. That alone gave him out as a stone-hearted individual who would even play pranks on the dead. How else can one describe it after Moro allegedly held on to his own part of the booty after it had been shared between him and the consultants? It took the comptroller-general of the NIS who, reports indicated, was ambushed with the exercise, to source for the N1million upfront that was paid to the Abuja National Stadium management on the morning of the exercise before one gate of the Abuja centre was flung up, leading to the ensuing stampede. As the story was in Abuja, so it was in other centres across the country.
There is just nohow Moro will escape this rap. It is now evidently clear to all, including President Jonathan, that his Interior minister had ulterior motives with the immigration, but to rake in billions at the expense of the wasted blood of innocent youth is atrocious, to say the least.
What Moro has done is nothing new; it is the modus operandi of almost all public service workers. Hardly is any contract awarded without the vested interest of those giving out the jobs holding sway. This is the reason why abandoned projects litter the nation. That is why it is not surprising that contracts are awarded and fully paid up-front even when the contractor is yet to identify the site. Sadly, this is what has become of our nation: a nation that the few with access to public resource see as only good for shaking down.
Quite worrying is that this kind of rashness will occur again. Our culture of impunity is second to none. Our leaders over the years, instead of instilling the culture of service and probity, have themselves been swallowed up in it. And so, while in serious climes Moro would have been immediately sacked and prosecuted for criminal negligence, here in Nigeria his godfathers would have to be appeased before he is even officially reprimanded.
This is how our public governance system has been subjected to all manner of ungodly abuses and left to bleed off. After all, didn’t President Goodluck Jonathan say he didn’t give a damn about the fight against corruption in Nigeria and lately that corruption was been over-exaggerated? And he said that with all the billions of dollars missing from the NNPC and the oil sector! Yet he admitted in faraway Amsterdam, Holland, yesterday that there are irregularities in the books of the NNPC and that $10bn was still unaccounted for. Pray, what kind of double- talk is this.
What Moro has done is to redefine the deplorable plight of under-privileged Nigerians. He callously rubbed salt on our collective injury. It is only in Nigeria that a public servant, of the status of a minister, would attempt to profit from the precarious unemployment situation in Nigeria.
Moro can continue to delude himself, but the truth of his criminal negligence is not in doubt. He stands condemned in the eyes of the public whether his political connections save him or not.
I am sure Moro is only worried about how he can salvage his dented political career. The Moro name has already been marked with innocent blood, now and in the future. There is little he can do about it.
Finally, it is not surprising that the National Hospital has become another place of struggle after the promise of jobs for the wounded applicants and families of their dead colleagues, as every applicant now claims to have been injured at the exercise, even those who did not attend. I foresee another sharp practice here. It won’t be out of place if the real victims are passed over and the jobs given to others more connected. However, Nigerian youths must not be left with the mind-set that one has to suffer such a misfortune before one can secure a job in Nigeria.
More importantly, we must be bold to tell ourselves some home truths: what Moro and his group of ‘fast guys’ unleashed on us must not be allowed to reoccur. We cannot continue to treat ourselves this way.