MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
As the one year extended tenure of the Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Idris Isah Jere expires on April 24, 2023, some officers of Service (NIS) have allegedly moved against any extension of tenure for him.
The CG had his retirement extended from 2022 to April 24, 2023, but there is an allegation that he has started lobbying for another one-year extension, a situation which the aggrieved officers claimed would affect the morale and discipline in the Service.
A letter signed by Akinwale Ayomipo Dennis, on behalf of the officers, who addressed themselves as Concerned Nigeria Immigration Stakeholders (CNIS), said they took the decision not for personal gains but to protect the integrity and sanctity of the Nigeria paramilitary structure, particularly the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, reads in part: “We are a group of patriotic Nigerians writing under the aegis of Concerned Nigeria Immigration Stakeholders, who are worried about recent developments in the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
“Our worry is not about personal interest but about protecting the integrity and sanctity of the Nigeria paramilitary structure, particularly the Nigeria Immigration Service and more importantly is the preservation of your legacy as a rare nationalist and principled retired military officer, who understands and imbibe the fundamental concept of morale in military and paramilitary system.
“We are compelled to write this letter to you, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and father of all including all the officers (rank and file) of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“Sir, permit us to draw your attention to the planned further extension of tenure of the current Acting Comptroller General of the NIS, Idris Isah Jere, who officially retired from the service on April 24, 2022, after acting for seven months following the retirement of Mohammed Babandede in September 2021.
“But after his retirement in April last year, he was asked to continue as CG in acting capacity for another one year, which will elapse on April 24 this year.
“To say the least, his tenure as acting CG has been uneventful and appeared to have set the service backwards in several ways, which we do not want to divulge to the public.
“But the one that is already public knowledge is the delay and the stress Nigerians go through to acquire new international passports. We cannot begin to recount the damage that has been done to the image of the NIS in the last one year.
“But more importantly, and of more concern to us is the plan by the acting CG to seek another extension in clear contravention of service rule.”
They added that they are aware that the acting CG has been lobbying to ensure he gets another one year in office, claiming they have proof of the CG’s action, as the latest was a letter he wrote to all directorates of the NIS dated April 12 titled “Official Assignment”, where he informed the directorates that he would be travelling for assignment to come back on April 25, which is a date beyond the one-year extension he was given, this they stated is an implication that the acting CG is already looking forward to another extension.
They told President Buhari that this “will be a disservice to Nigeria and a tragedy for the NIS if Idris Jere succeeds in getting another extension as there is a pool of more competent officers to occupy the CG position.”
“We are, therefore, appealing to Mr President not to entertain any argument to extend the tenure of the acting CG as this may irreparably damage officers’ morale with the consequent effect on service delivery,” the stakeholders said while not ruling out that concerned aggrieved personnel of the NIS may embark on an embarrassing protest against further tenure elongation for the acting CG, which may negatively affect the image of the Service.