Protest In Abuja By Nigeria Immigration 2000 (pic) | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News


Protest In Abuja By Nigeria Immigration 2000 (pic)

Protest In Abuja By Nigeria Immigration 2000 (pic) 

Mr President,

Before you today are the officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) from across the country who were recruited in May 2015.

After the botched NIS recruitment of 2014 which claimed the lives of some applicants, the Federal Government decided to do an open and transparent recruitment based on merit and following laid down procedure.

These were the best 2000 out of over 1 million applicants. After undergoing a rigorous recruitment process which included writing computer-based tests, interviews, and screenings, they proceeded for three months training which included Parade drills, Paramilitary Ethics, Immigration Manual, Weapons Handling (G3, AK47 riffles etc) and over a dozen courses relevant to the Nigeria Immigration Service.

These they did without being paid any stipend. Some had to incur debts to get uniform and other accoutrements, some resigned their well-paying jobs for a chance to serve their fatherland.

But unfortunately, they were dispersed on the 20th of August, 2015 without any reasons given. Tomorrow 20th of August 2016 will be ONE FULL YEAR being on the streets.

By recognition of the social contract between government and the citizens, they decided to bring their grievances to the government in a peaceful and orderly manner with the hope that justice will be done. They have been everywhere in the land, from the Ministry of Interior to the National Assembly to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, all to no avail.

On 12th April 2016 House of Representatives reached a resolution, mandating the Ministry of Interior, the Civil Defence, Fire Service, Immigration, and Prisons Service Board (CDFSIPB) and the Nigeria Immigration Service to reabsorb them but this has not been heeded.

Instead of reinstating them into the Service by way of a circular, on the 15th of August 2016 new stringent, vindictive, and unrealistic criteria for the screeing of #NigeriaImmigration2000 as fresh applicants, purportedly signed by the Comptroller General of NIS appeared in the national dailies.

First, this said publication referred to the #NigeriaImmigration2000 as 'Applicants'. It is pertinent to state categorically and without mincing words that #NigeriaImmigration2000 ARE NOT applicants, but have been officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service since May 2015.

Citizens who have received training, have been documented, issued a service number, and so on can never be referred to as applicants because they employees of the Service.

Second, the publication claimed that the #NigeriaImmigration2000 appointment letters were 'irregularly issued' in February 2015.

The appointment letters of #NigeriaImmigration2000 were issued in May 2015 NOT February 2015. But we know as of fact that AFTER they were recruited and later 'dispersed' in August 2015, appointment letters have been irregularly issued through a backdoor hiring process in February 2016 that did not follow the laid down procedures #NigeriaImmigration2000 did.

The guidelines given in the publication are as follows:

1. Implementation of the CDFSIPB 'Age on Rank' policy
2. Drug tests screening
3. Document verification screening
4. Security checks screening.

This 'Age on Rank' policy (to place age restrictions/ceilings for ranks within the service), was first published on 25th May by the CDFSIPB. This was one full year AFTER the employment of #NigeriaImmigration2000 in 2015.

In a memorandum dated 13th June 2016, it was specifically clarified that the policy was meant for new intakes into the Service (after its enactment) and cannot be applied retroactively for officers and men of the Service.

It is therefore unacceptable to use the 'Age on Rank' policy, or any other rules or policies implemented to treat the #NigeriaImmigrarion2000 as new employees, employed later than May 2016 or any time later than May 2015, for that matter.

#NigeriaImmigration2000 were employed in May 2015. We also wish to say that it will also amount to graver injustice if their salary arrears for the past 15 months are unpaid. Or if any member is victimized on account of being at the forefront of this advocacy after all these months of suffering.

In this struggle, they have endured the scorching of the burning sun, their brows are sunken with sweats, their bones are weary and our legs are filled with blisters and yet here we are today because the long suppressed voice of #NigeriaImmigration2000 cries for justice and will not stop until we get justice. Mr President, we are here from across the federation in unity seeking for justice.

We therefore urge Mr President to mandate the Ministry of Interior; the Civil Defence, Fire service, Immigration Service, and Prisons Service Board; and the Nigeria Immigration Service to immediately:

1. Issue an official circular, reinstating with immediate effect, each and every member of the #NigeriaImmigration2000 without referring to or regarding them as 'applicants'; and without the retroactive 'Age on Rank' policy;
2. Issue immediately appointment letters signed and dated May 2015 to the 400 Assistant Superintendents;
3. Pay up all their arrears of salary and other emoluments and incentives from May 2015 to date and ensure that such injustice is never again repeats;
4. Offer unreserved apology for their unjust mistreatment for one whole year;
5. Desist from any action that can be interpreted as hindering the reabsorption, and/or victimizing any member of #NigeriaImmigration2000;
6. Look into the issue of illegal, backdoor hiring in the Service.

Nigeria belongs to all of us.

Thank you.
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