National Conference: Ex Customs, Immigration, Prisons officers protest exclusion

Nigerian Custom Officer
Nigerian Custom Officer

Group says its members’ repertoire of knowledge on various critical issues is vital to the success of the proposed confab

Retired para-military officers under the aegis of the National Association of Retired Para-military Officers, NARPO, on Tuesday protested their exclusion from the participating in the proposed National Conference.

The group, which comprises retired officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS and Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, stated this in a statement in Abuja.

The federal government had earlier in the month unfolded the modalities for the conference, which begins in March.

According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Pius Anyim, a total of 492 delegates would attend the conference.

He listed them as follows: Elder statesmen (one per state and FCT) 37 delegates; Retired military and security personnel 18; Traditional rulers 13; Retired Civil Servants 6; Labour (NLC and TUC) 12; Organised Private Sector 8; Nigeria Youth Organisation 18; Women Groups 24; Political Parties 10; Faith-based (Christian and Moslem) 12; Civil Society Organisations 24; Nigerians in Diaspora 8; Disability (Physically Challenged) 6; NPAN/NGE/NUJ/BON 8; and Socio-Political/Cultural organisations shall nominate 15 delegates each.

Others are Professional bodies 13; National Academies 5; Judiciary 6; Former political office holders (Ex-governors, former Senators Forum/Former Representatives Forum/Association of former Speakers 24; Federal Government 20; 36 states government (3 per state) 108; FCT 1; and ALGON 6.

The NARPO National President, Adewale Oloyede, said in the statement that the non-representation of the group at the confab would rob it of the needed contribution of a strategic segment of the nation.

He said NARPO was qualified to be represented at the conference considering its size, national spread, and particularly its exclusive repertoire of knowledge on various critical issues which might come up during the conference.

“While we applaud the noble intentions of the government in holding the conference, we wish to observe that NARPO’s omission is a mere error which we believe is being addressed by the Presidency whose attention we have already drawn to the matter,” The group’s spokesperson,  Abdullahi Gulu, said in a statement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, our association has the size, spread and the varied exclusive expertise which we believe will add immense value to the conference.”

Mr. Oloyede, a medical doctor who retired as Deputy Comptroller General of the NPS, said the association has retired officers cutting across the respective para-military services such as former Comptrollers-General, Deputy Comptroller-General in its fold.

He said many of them were presently offering invaluable services in various fields to reputable national and international organizations.


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