Protesters Storm Abuja, Accuse Buhari’s Government Of Nepotism, Illegal Recruitment


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Nigerians drawn from various
civil society groups on
Wednesday protested alleged
illegal recruitment and nepotism
in some government agencies,
questioning the anti-corruption effort of President Muhammadu
Buhari.
The protesters – including
popular activists, Aisha Yesufu;
author, Chido Onumah; and
members of Citizens of Impact, Enough is Enough, Youthup
Africa – marched to the Office of
the Secretary to the Government
of the Federation, where they
submitted their protest letter for
onward transfer to Mr. Buhari. “All Nigerians must be given
equal opportunity in
employment,” one of their
placards read.
In his address, Daniel Olatunde,
convener of Citizens of Impact, said the Central Bank of Nigeria,
Federal Inland Revenue Service
and Nigeria Prisons Service,
embarked on illegal recruitment
exercises and that some of the
recruits paid huge amounts to get the jobs.
He recalled that one of the 909
persons recruited by the CBN
“through backdoor” was a
nephew of Mr. Buhari.
He added that FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, “lied
barefaced and was deceiving
Nigerians” that the body was
going to recruit 1,250 people
during a session with the Senate
Finance Committee at a time he had already concluded “the
recruitment of children of his
cronies including that of John
Enoh, Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Finance.”
To cover its illegal recruitment exercise, Mr. Olatunde alleged
that NPS backdated letters of
appointment to 530 people.
“No transparency as these
exercises were done under the
table,” Mr. Olatunde said. “It is shocking the government
has been loud in its silence.
Nobody has investigated or
reversed it….President Buhari
came to power on thr crest of
anti-corruption campaign.” In her address, Mrs. Yesufu said
Mr. Buhari should be reminded
that looting constitutes
corruption, as well as “nepotism
and illegal recruitment of
children of who is who”. The protesters demanded
investigation of the exercises
and their reversal, while heads
of the concerned public
bureaucracies be sanctioned.
“If citizens come out to protest peacefully, they should be
listened to. It is not only those
who carry arms that should be
listened to,” Mrs. Yesufu said.
Special Assistant to Mr. Buhari on
Policy, Development and Analysis, Ibrahim Bapitel,
represented the SGF, Babachir
Lawal.
Mr. Bapitel, after listening to the
protesters and receving their
letter, he said, “I believe in the content of this letter”.
“I assure action could be taken.”
He could not give a definite date
for the protesters to get
response, saying only the SGF
could do so. But PREMIUM TIMES gathered the
protesters resolved to resume
demonstration a week from now
in case there is no response from
government.