By Elisha Pwajok
When the names of the new Commandant-General and Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigeria Correctional Service were released, there was graveyard silence at the headquarters of both agencies, as it may spell doom for the career of their seniors, especially those who acted, but were not found good enough to continue. Some others, however, celebrated the appointments.
Ethno-religious interpretations were brought in since it appeared the All Progressives Congress (APC)-administration has often acted that it preferred persons of particular colourations to head military and para-military outfits for yet unclear reasons.
A former minister and head of a federal agency saw it in different light. He noted that since the Ministry of Interior claims the men emerged from a transparent selection process,” the issue of educationally disadvantaged states should be scrapped since people from those states now top all selection interviews in Nigeria.
But the tokenism of announcing the elevation of Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji to the headship of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), on the same Thursdat as that of the NSCDC and NCoS was not lost on some, even as applause greeted his appointment across a group of stakeholders.
“Why can’t other persons from Southern geo-political zones and religions head these agencies that are security in nature and can deploy men during elections and sensitive situations? Why can’t they head those places to balance the obviously skewed employment and placements there? What agenda is playing out in this country that it has to be people of a region and religion that have all the lucrative appointments,” an angry insider asked.
Recall that in a statement, the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Mohammed Manga, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar Audi as the new Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) following the retirement from service of Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu.
The statement adds, “Ahmed Audi, emerged the top best candidate out of those that went through the transparent selection process initiated by the Ministry of Interior through the Board to ensure that the most suitable among the top-ranking officers in the service was appointed to replace the out-going Commandant-General of the NSCDC.
“Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari has also nominated Haliru Nababa mni, as the new Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), subject to the confirmation of the Senate in line with the provision of the new Act establishing the Nigerian Correctional Service 2019.
“The Minister of Interior and Chairman, Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Board (CDCFIB), Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who congratulated the new appointees, called on them to ensure full implementation of the mandate of their services as well as to ensure synergy with other security agencies in the country with the view to providing efficient internal security services and citizenship integrity for Nigerians and foreigners alike in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration.”
While applause was muted in the case of Audi and Abdulahi Gana, it came from stakeholders in extractive industries over Orji’s appointment as NEITI’s new boss. Orji replaced his former boss, Waziri Adio.
Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, said his management welcomed Orji’s appointment.
It is “a wonderful decision of appointing Dr. Orji as the Executive Secretary of NEITI to continue the massive reforms currently in progress in the oil and gas industry,” he said in a statement through NNPC’s spokesman, Kennie Obateru.
The National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, Peter Egbule said of the new helmsman, “Dr. Orji has been like an engine room of NEITI, who has been involved in the implementation of global principles and standards of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Nigeria from its inception….
“Our organization, and coalition of civil societies in our network will work with him and his team to broaden the base of stakeholders’ engagement in the nation’s extractive industries.
Three Thursday Appointments, different reactions as NEITI, NSCDC, NCoS heads take over
By Elisha Pwajok