By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Following the news making rounds that officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS) are saddened by President Buhari’s decision to elongate the tenure of present Comptroller General of NIS, Mohammed Babandede for another 2 years, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) known as Nigeria First Progressive Forum has called on the general public to disassociate themselves from such information meant to provoke the public from its continued support for the Immigration Boss.
It made this known while reacting to some online publications alleging that Babandede lobbied to remain in office.
According the group, they urge journalists and media outfits to desist from using unfounded information that is aimed at rubbishing personalities in Nigeria even when they know it’s fake.
They called on the immigration boss to continue with his giant strides as they believes that the story is sponsored by unscrupulous elements who don’t want to hear or see anything good coming out from the Service he’s heading.
Speaking on his scorecard, the group said Babandede, on his assumption of office, immediately reorganised, standardised, decentralised the passport issuing system amongst others. It is on record that when Nigerians in the Diaspora were going through tough situation before their passports are renewed, Babandede came to their rescue within the shortest possible time.
In another development, Mr Babandede after tasking himself to ensure two/ three states commands are completed and commissioned every year, among the commissioned are Kano and Jigawa in 2017, Plateau and Abia 2018 , Akwa Ibom, Zamfara and Adamawa 2019, while Enugu and Kwara States are ready for commissioning.
They added that Mohammed Babandede who doesn’t boast of his achievements *has successfully Secured a permanent residence for CGI,* constructed and completed Deputy Comptroller General (DCGs) staff quarters in Jabi Abuja respectively.
The group noted that ongoing projects slated for commissioning before December are Oyo, Ekiti, Gombe Kaduna, Nasarawa and Sokoto state commands.
It was observed by the group that all the past policies and projects of his predecessors were not jettisoned but were scrutinised and many were completed by him. Like the web-based Visa on Arrival (VoA) project which was reformed to remove the human contact. This project which is the toast of world community, has already attracted global attention.
The CSO further stated that most of the institution’s equipments have been upgraded to the latest technology. They said the institution has been very prominent in the nation’s security and economic development indices.
When security personnel are adequately empowered, the nation and their agencies stand to gain. It is commendable that apart from addressing the issue of staff stagnation, over 5,405 officers and men have been elevated to their next ranks with an additional 1,000 officers and men that were promoted .
The rusty curriculum used in their training institutions have been reversed and upgraded to meet international standard. More so, management and leadership training courses aimed at development has been extended to all the Comptrollers and above with the junior and middle cadre inclusive.
Investigation further revealed by our reporter who quizzed some of the officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service about the news making rounds which states that their boss Mohammed Babandede is lobbying or has lobbied for tenure extension is dramatically incorrect as those peddling such rumours are the ones who don’t want to see the technological change he has brought to the service.
According to one of the officers who spoke in anonymity, he said they haven’t had it this good ever since Babandede became the Controller General of NIS.
He called on all those peddling this fake news to desist or face the consequences, as their boss gentility in allowing freedom of the press doesn’t mean people should go about with fake news, damaging people’s hard earned reputation.
“Have you sat with my boss before? He’s a no nonsense man. He can help you with whatever assistant you want but not by you lobbying for it. These guys peddling this rumours are sponsored and we know it. But we are warning them to desist because it’s not in his character to lobby for any appointment,” he stated.
When our reporter contacted Babandede on the news making rounds, he debunked the claims tagging it a cheap blackmail by some group of individuals who don’t want to see anything good he’s been doing to reposition the service.
According to him, he has never begged for any appointment before and he can’t do that now. He stated that any promotion he has gotten all came with merit and with the help Almighty Allah.
“I didn’t know that there’s any news of such, if not that you just drew my attention to it. As a person, I can never lobby for any job.