Says There’s Sinister Nexus Between Job Racketeering and Kidnappings
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has suggested that there could be a sinister nexus between the spike in kidnappings for ransom all over Nigeria with the widespread commercialization of federal civil service employment slots by key officials in government and officials of the national ruling party – All Progressives Congress (APC).
Besides, the Rights group has suggested the constitution of an independent judicial commission of inquiry on the large scale employment scams involving key government officials just as the Rights body said the National Assembly, the Nigerian Police Force, Central Bank of Nigeria; NNPC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a lot of presidency officials have at one time or the other been accused of engaging in employment corrupt practices but these accusations have been swept under the carpet of impunity.
The Rights group also said, that if this menace is not tackled headlong it could constitute a grave threat to Nigeria’s national security.
“There is therefore the imperative need that the ‘umbilical cord’ of employment racketeering buried deep inside the inner sanctum of federal Government’s POWERFUL and influential officials is excavated and dealt with.
“The enemies of transparent and merit based employments into the national agencies and institutions are very powerful men and women who are in the corridors of power. Any cosmetic measure to end the menace has failed ab initio”, it said.
The Coordinator, HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who made these known in a statement on Tuesday said “these vital security and political institutions including majority of the cabinet level appointees have soiled their hands in this rapidly expanding federal jobs racketeering scheme which has become a multibillion industry, and so cannot be trusted to thoroughly, comprehensively, honestly and professionally embark on a proper, forensic and result oriented investigation into this disturbing social evil in Nigeria.
“From 2015 on inception, this administration has been dogged with widespread allegations of jobs fixing, jobs racketeering and the selective and illegal employment of unfit Nigerians only because they are children of the political, military or governmental elite just as the Central Bank of Nigeria; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Petroleum Equalization Fund; Petroleum Education Trust Fund; Federal Inland Revenue Services and the Nigerian Police Force; EFCC; are some of the many government institutions that are now viewed as cesspools of corrupt practices in the area of employment of young Nigerians.
“It is possible that desperation for jobs may have motivated some youths to embark on kidnappings to raise cash to buy up the secretly auctioned federal employment slots. Millions of university graduates are roaming major streets of Nigerian cities in search of white collar jobs because the federal and state governments have failed to put the enabling environment to train the youths to become entrepreneurs and creators of jobs and wealth. Even the much publicized entrepreneurial development fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been hijacked by children of top political elite. The few job slots not allocated to Children of ministers and top federal government appointees that are available at the federal levels are now sold to the highest bidders.
“These corrupt practices have been there for years before the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. But with the emergence of the current government, the racketeering of jobs and outright commercialization of employments has assumed frightening proportions with some job slots costing as much as N10 million thereby forcing some desperate unemployed but deviant youths to embark on different types of crimes like Advanced Fee Fraud (419) and kidnappings for ransom to raise cash needed to buy their ways into federal employment. The worst dimension is that the law enforcement agencies that should check this menace are deeply involved in the scams.
“This is now a national epidemic requiring national surgical action to be done by a committed group of judges to investigate the extent of these crimes, name, shame, and prosecute the key perpetrators and to fish out the beneficiaries so the employment slots can be filled through merits and competence”, he emphasized.
Furthermore, HURIWA dismissed the drama going on in the senate in which federal character commission is accused of auctioning employment slots to the highest bidders at N3 million per slot.
“HURIWA is of the position that these senators are not altruistic because the National Assembly members are the worst culprits in the crime of employment racketeering. The moment they are offered slots, this dramatic probe will die a natural death”, Onwubiko said.
HURIWA recalled that the Senate had raised the alarm over allegations of job racketeering in the Federal Character Commission with jobs reportedly being traded for as much as N3 million.
HURIWA also recalled that the Chairman of its Committee on Federal Character Commission, Senator Danjuma Laah, who spoke after some agencies failed to honour the panel’s summons regarding the scrutiny of their nominal rolls in Abuja, confirmed that they got reports from Nigerians alleging sale of jobs in the agency. He said one of the accounts claimed that “someone bought his job at N3 million from NPA”, adding that the “sellers are in Federal Character Commission.”
HURIWA however dismissed the Senate probe as a gambit, saying that it is just like appointing owners of brothels as officers of NAPTIP. “How can the job racketeering National Assembly be trusted to probe the same crime that they are accused of by millions of Unemployed Nigerians? Who is deceiving who?” The right group questioned.