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APC, PDP allege last-minute looting, recruitment, others



Alhaji Lai Mohammed

ALLEGATIONS of last-minute looting of the nation’s resources, hurried recruitment into the public service and rushed privatisation/sale of key financial institutions and assets were levelled against each other at the weekend by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a statement issued in Lagos on yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said apart from the instances of such cases that have been reported by the local media, it has been “inundated with calls and messages by concerned Nigerians, alerting it to the unscrupulous actions of some Jonathan administration officials.”

APC went on: “While the Jonathan Administration remains in office till midnight of May 28th, 2015 and governance in the country will not stop because a new President has been elected, it is incumbent upon the outgoing Administration not to create any more problems for the incoming government than it had already done, or to tie the new government’s hands through some suspicious actions.

While it is true that the incoming Buhari Administration will not get itself bogged down by an endless probe of the activities of the Jonathan Administration, all actions taken since the result of the May 28th presidential election was announced may come under the searchlight.

For example, the National Council on Privatization, which is headed by the Vice President, has just approved the financial bid opening for transaction advisers for the privatization of the three Development Finance Institutions in the country – the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry and Nigeria Commodity Exchange. The question is: What is the rationale for rushing this exercise with just weeks left for this administration?

Also, there have been reports, yet not refuted, of a planned hurried recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service, after a previous attempt ended in a national tragedy and the fleecing of innocent job seekers by mindless federal government officials. Apart from the fact that this last-minute recruitment is suspect, it is irregular.

The Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPSB) is only empowered to recruit, promote and discipline only senior officers (levels 8 and above).

The power to recruit, promote and discipline junior officers is vested in the different services, in this case the Nigeria Immigration Service. ‘’Therefore, the recruitment exercise now being conducted by the Federal Civil Service under the auspices of the Presidential Committee to Assist on Immigration Recruitment usurps the functions of the Board as it relates to recruitment of Senior Officers (level 08) and that of the Immigration Service as it relates to Junior Officers (levels 07 and below).

APC also pointed to “a published report that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, plans to use the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to carry out a secret employment of no fewer than 500 workers before the end of April 2015.” The party added: ‘’We do not know if this report, as well as others, is true.

But if indeed these rushed privatizations and hurried recruitment exercises – in the twilight of the Jonathan Administration – are true, they raise serious questions concerning the reasons behind such actions.

We are therefore compelled to call on President Jonathan to call his administration officials to order, lest they engage in actions that can later embarrass his administration.”

On its part, the Rivers State chapter of PDP alleged “the looting spree in Government House, Port Harcourt, ministries and parastatals ahead of Governor Amaechi’s exit, on May 29, 2015.”

It said: “Also alarming is the illegal sale of government properties to close friends, political allies and family members.” PDP described as “frightening illegal employment in Rivers State Polytechnic Bori, where about 500 people have been secretly employed without due process.”

The party also alleged ongoing secret employment of “thousands of persons to swell the number of civil servants in government and local councils, so that the incoming PDP government will battle with the alarming wage bill.” “PDP appreciates the employment of Rivers people, but adds that such employment must follow due process, must not be partisan and without hidden agenda,” it stated. Frowning at this “criminal act by political aides in connivance with some senior officials of government,” the state chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, said change of guards in governance was a normal tradition and does not mean the end of government or discontinuation of political leadership.

He warned: “All those involved in this wanton looting to desist, stressing that the long arm of the law will surely catch up with such perpetrators of the act.”

The state PDP boss continued: “Information available reveals that some of the government property stolen and vandalised are mainly the unregistered brand new cars assigned to different departments of government. “Some equipment for the Monorail, government farms, schools, hospitals, government-owned media houses etc have also been stolen and vandalised.

It is most unfortunate that this is happening in a government, which officials are seeking the people’s mandate to continue in office and has explained why God who knows the inner hearts of all men has rejected them.”

Enjoining the Rivers people to take note, he added: “The only reason for the evil act is to get at the State Governor-elect, Nyesom Wike as though he is coming to personally inherit these property. “Unfortunately, it’s the State and the people that will suffer for the wickedness.”

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