The Abba Moro Campaign (AMCO) has refuted allegations from the media about corrupt immigrations practices under the supervision of Abba Moro when he was the Minister of Interior.
The statement released by the Media and Publicity Manager, Ameh Godwin Azikwe, on behalf of the organization.
“Our attention has been drawn to a sponsored story published on the website of Premium Times with a misleading caption ‘Ex-minister who supervised 2014 fatal, corrupt immigration recruitment emerges senatorial candidate’”.
“We are aware that the story was planted by some foot soldiers of the enemies of the Idoma land, who are jittery of the emergence of Comrade Abba Moro as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in Benue South senatorial district.
“To set the record straight, the immigration recruitment matter is in court and it’s not very appropriate to talk about it.
“Unfortunately, the enemies of the Idoma race and those whose time in public offices have been about themselves and their families, knowing the great threat that Comrade Abba Moro poses to their ascendance to the Benue South Senatorial Seat, have chosen to throw needless tantrums about it and it’s opposite we put the records straight.
“There is no Ministry in Nigeria where the Minister Chairs the Tenders Board. There is a due process for procurement in all government MDAs, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, which process was duly complied with in the contract for the Immigration exercise.
“Comrade Abba Moro didn’t participate in the Tenders Board Meeting that considered the proposals and eventually approved one of them.
“He only, as Minister, signed the contract, drafted by the Legal Department, on behalf of the Ministry, after asking necessary questions to ascertain the competence of the contractor.
“The Civil Defence, Fire Immigration, and Prisons Services Board,(CDFIPB), which Comrade Abba Moro chaired as Minister of Interior, set up a special committee to consider and iron out all grey areas in recruitment exercises, headed by the Board Secretary.
“Comrade Abba Moro was not a member of that committee. He duly approved all their recommendations; the minute of the meetings is a public document and is there for anyone to see. The modalities for the recruitment were discussed at that meeting.
“Comrade Abba Moro didn’t do anything to derail that process but worked assiduously towards ensuring that the proposal of the committee got his timely approval.
“Comrade Abba Moro, as Minister of Interior, wrote to the Federal Character Commission, to advise the Ministry on what portal access fee the recruitment consultant is allowed to collect.
“The Commission pegged it at N1000. The correspondence between the Ministry and the Commission are public documents and can be accessed through investigative journalism. It is not hidden.
“There is nothing on record to show that Comrade Abba Moro’s account was used to collect a kobo from any applicant or money transferred to his account.
“The use of stadia across the country was a decision taken collectively by the CDFIP Board, for the sake of physical fitness screening to ascertain that only those who are fit, go for the final recruitment test.
“Comrade Abba Moro, together with the Board, opted for a public recruitment exercise to curb the cases of job racketeering that has put several Nigerian youths without money and godfathers at a disadvantage.
“The stampede was a very unfortunate incident but clearly not what Comrade Abba Moro set out to achieve, as the youths are always at the centre of his programmes over the years.
“The stampede was a complete failure of security like it happened in 2008, in Enugu, during the Immigration recruitment of that year, under a different Minister of Interior, leading to deaths. It was and remains devastatingly regrettable.
“Nevertheless the death of any Nigerian in such circumstance shouldn’t be an object of politics as Benue South politicians are seeking to use it.
“It is incontrovertible that, Comrade Abba Moro, as Minister of Interior, even if he were a security man, wouldn’t have been able to man all centres of the recruitment exercise as that job was entirely that of security agents and the Nigeria Immigration Service in particular.
“He was not the one in control of the gates and controlling the crowd at the venues of the Immigration exercise. Despite that, he took official responsibility because the bulk stopped at his table as Minister.
“Suffices to note that the Ministry of Interior, before the appointment of Comrade Abba Moro, had been grappling with the challenge of employment racketeering, the challenge which Comrade Abba Moro sought to solve through an open recruitment model, where the selection is done purely on merit as it’s the case in the armed forces.
“Beside the charge of N1000 for the NIS recruitment portal access, a portal built by a private company, the Navy, Army, Airforce, JAMB, NECO, WAEC, etc all collect access fee of not less than N2000 for recruitment and registration applications on their portal.
“Politicians who are opposed to Comrade Abba Moro’s emergence as the Senatorial candidate of the PDP, for the 2019 election, clearly for fear of his popularity and acceptance by the people, should look outside the Immigration recruitment episode as it is already in court and justice will prevail.
“No amount of negative propaganda will dim the good name and popularity of Comrade Abba Moro, among his people.
“It is so unfortunate that a reputable medium like Premium Times could fly such story without getting their facts right”.