OPEN LETTER TO COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION (CGI), MUHAMMED BABANDEDE BY DG ADVOCACY FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE NETWORK AMB H. COOMASSIE

Dear Sir,

REVERSAL OF SENIOR STAFF POSTING ORDER

I am constricted to write to you this open letter. As a keen observer of issues of worrisome and momentous concern, I observed with distaste as it unfold, an attempt to ridicule the Nigeria Immigration Service in a crass manner using the court of public opinion to challenge the posting order of (5) five female officers, namely: Priscilla Irabor, Binti Attabor, Catherine Bakura, Blessing Alfred Udida & Eneni Ockiya, dated 14th May, 2020 and hence felt duty bound as a well-meaning and right-thinking Nigerian to make it an open letter because the cart already has been put before the horse.


According to reports, the posting of the (5) five officers was speculated as punitive to the actions of these officers in participating on the Bop Daddy Challenge trending on social media, as expected in any society deeply submerged into a global village by social media, the issue of the posting went viral and most people ventilated on the appropriateness or otherwise of the punishment if any. However what is most pertinent and surprising is that the originator/initiator of the Bop Daddy Challenge (Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana) has the gut to take it upon himself as a self-appointed knight in a shining armor to save the officers from what he perceived as draconian penalty.

One of the spinoffs and accelerants of misinformation in this matter was the fact that the said (5) five officers were females. However it is trite to say at this juncture that, he failed to understand that there is no gender in the Nigerian Immigration Service or any other uniform establishments, as there only exist ‘Officers and Men of the Nigerian Immigration service’. Furthermore every senior officer of their cadre and above, have sworn to the Oath of secrecy and hence bound by the rules & regulations of the service.


Permit me to draw inference from the said letter addressed to the CGI by Mr. Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, wherein he made reference to Chapter 2, Rule 020503 of the Public Service Rules which provides for transport fare and other logistics for posted officers for the first 28days. What happens to obey before complain order of security Agencies ? Are there no instances of posting officers and sending the support stipend in arrears once the funds become available?
Are there not laid down procedures for such officers to ventilate any perceived inconveniency to be occasioned internally?
Did the officers contracted Mr. Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana to counter the senior staff posting order or he was just being a meddlesome interloper? How did the Staff Order or the Query that were treated internally find their way into social media? These posers will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. Since when does an outsider started meddling into the internal affairs of the Nigerian Immigration Service, and addressing the highest officer of the Nigerian Immigration with recklessness abandoning what picture will that portray to bystanders.

The germane issue, if I may dare say, is overindulgence and lack of proper demarcation of limits, social media has turned people into demigods in the safety of their homes wherein they involve themselves in every matter devoid of trying to make proper findings on rules of engagement, because if Mr. Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana had not decided to Cheryl pick which Federal Public Service Rules to cite and which not to cite, a community reading of Section 30 of the Federal Public Service Rules would have shown him the magnitude of the offence alleged and that it attracts a penalty of either termination or retirement. See Section 30(a)i and ii & Section 30(b).
So in a manner of speaking, the Nigerian Immigration Service was too lenient on these officers.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. So reversing the order is not going to solve the problem rather it will fuel more crisis within the service. What happens when another officer decides to use his uniform as Michael Jackson jacket & decline posting or punishment when served ? This act of rescinding of order may have the likely effect of causing mutiny. A stich in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying.
To be explicit, I honestly do not believe such crass letter will be considered by the Nigerian Military, Police or any other Para-Military outfit. Every wrong act should attract its attendant punishment, as the whole essence of punishment is not to inflict pain but to provide deterrence from future reoccurrence and if I may aptly say, reposting of officer is never a punishment, all 36 states & the FCT are viewed equally by virtue of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
The Nigerian Immigration Service is suppressing, temporarily, the symptoms of the disease, but fails to offer a cure. We therefore call on the Service to thoroughly investigate the actions of these officers wherein, if found guilty, they should be punished to the latter of the extant rules. The actions of every officer must be tailored and trimmed to suit the dictates of the oath taken & the rules of the Service and not garrisoned by wanton social exigencies, as if the NIS is a public liability company. The action has indeed ridiculed the Organisation so therefore the service should handle this issue without fear or favor please.

Respectfully,

Amb. (Dr) Hussaini Coomassie, PSJA, FCIB.
Founder, Advocacy For Good Governance Network
Member, NIS Family.

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