Immigration Recruitment Tragedy: Why I Won’t Resign – Abba Moro

FILE PHOTO: Surging crowd at an Immigration recruitment test in 2014.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, on Monday explained why he is yet to leave office seven months after he masterminded a poorly organised recruitment exercise that killed no fewer than 20 applicants in stampedes at overcrowded venues across the country.

After the March 15 tragedy, several Nigerians demanded the resignation or dismissal of Mr. Moro and the Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang, as well as their criminal prosecution for involuntary homicide.

The duo, with Mr. Moro more culpable, had put in place a sham recruitment process that enabled the interior ministry to extort at least N520 million in compulsory levy imposed on applicants.

The minister, who initially blamed impatience and refusal by applicants to abide by instructions for the tragedy, has since accepted responsibility for the incident.

He has however refused to step down.

But speaking on a Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, on Monday, Mr. Moro made it clear he would not resign, saying he would rather stay put in office to clear the mess caused by the incidence.

“The point at which we are now is not about resignation. That time has gone,” Mr. Morro said in response to a question over why he refused to quit despite widespread calls by Nigerians on him to do so. “At the time (people were calling for his resignation), I think emotions were very high. I was in the eye of a storm.

“At that time, a lot of options were on the table… The issue is do you resign or do you stay to sort out the problem that have been created?

“I decided that staying and mopping up the mess caused by the lack of proper implementation of our plans is better. That’s the point we are now.”

The minister said Nigerians should consider the tragedy as an accident which he too did not plan for or envisage.

“I also have families. I didn’t set out on that journey knowing that accident would occur that would lead to the death of human beings.

“We took everything into proper perspective. If we had succeeded, a few Nigerians would have congratulated us for the job well done.

“But now that accident has happened, we will learn from what happened,” he said.

Mr. Moro also explained why his ministry was yet to implement a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan that three family members of each dead applicant be given automatic employments.

He said after President Jonathan made the announcement, the Federal Government also set up a committee over the recruitment tragedy, and that his ministry preferred to wait for the panel to present its report before acting.

“Finally, the report is ready, waiting for submission and implementation,” the minister said. “The next level is implementation. What I can say is that the people affected should exercise understanding and patience. Nobody will allow further mistakes.”

Only 4,556 vacancies were advertised by the immigration service, but 520,000 applicants registered to write the March 15 recruitment test. Each applicant was required to pay N1,000 processing fee to be eligible to participate.

A PREMIUM TIMES report estimated that the NIS made at least N520 million from this compulsory levy imposed on applicants.

The extortion of the job seekers was done in flagrant disregard of the directive by the House of Representatives that government agency should desist from charging applicants taking part in recruitment exercises.

However, in his reaction to the tragedy at the time, Mr. Moro attributed the deaths to the applicants’ “impatience.”

“The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise,” Mr. Moro had said.

“Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one,” Mr. Moro had added.

Mr. Moro’s comment sparked anger across Nigeria, with many citizens taking to social media to call for his immediate sack.

The Federal Government and the National Assembly constituted separate committees to probe the tragedy at the time. But the reports of the panels are yet to be made public.


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  • Psalm 35

    It is sad that this man is still a Minister despite his proven and glaring complicity. It is embarrassingly sad!

    • Otile

      Federal character comrade, federal character.

      • endingNaija

        I guess it is that same dubious federal Character that is keeping Madam Oil Diezani Alison Madueke on her job. Right? Otile wetin you think?

        • Otile

          No, corrupt politicians put federal character in place to protect the Hausa Fulani. No Southern has ever benefited from federal character and you know it.

          • endingNaija

            Your bottom madam -Diezani Alison Madueke sits on theft, gratf and corruption on behalf of President Jonathan. Abba Moro cannot be sacked because Goodluck Jonathan is so weak he cannot sack any corrupt minister. If he cannot sack Diezani Alison Madueke, why do you think he will be able to sack Abba Moro?

          • Otile

            Federal character, comrade federal character.

          • Baba

            Yes ooo, it’s the federal character that takes and is sustaining GEJ in Aso rock, in fact it’s the only reason he is being urged to contest in 2015

          • segun

            Federal character dey bottom power too for Madam oil? Dis one pass me ooo!

  • True son of the soil

    Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.

  • Jika

    The man is only answerable to the President and his godfather.As far as he is concerned,ordinary Nigerians who lost their lives are not important.

  • kwango

    A totally inept and incompetent administration. How can such a man hold public office when he doesn’t understand what it is all about. One eyed man leading blind ministers.


    The only reason this man remains in office is because he is the ‘political boy’ of Senate President David Mark, who has been watching the back of the President at the legislature and has rendered it (National Assembly) ineffective in providing checks and balances to the actions of the Executive branch.

    Not to worry. In the fullness of time, everyone – including Abba Moro – will be judged according to his deeds.

  • Tawandah incommunicado

    Abba Moro is a typical Nigerian idiotic politician without a conscience. That is why he shows no remorse about the criminal neglect which took place on his watch leading to deaths of dozens of youth seeking employment.
    I do not wish him well at all,I hope something more heart-breaking and painful than what he did to those dead young people and their families happen to him…..idiot !!

    • endingNaija

      But as a minister Abba Moro is an employee of Oga Presido-President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan has the power to SACK him just as Jonathan has the power to sack Madam Oil Diezani Alison Madueke. So logical question is :why do you think that President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to sack corrupt ministers such as mrs Diezani Alison Madueke , Mr. Abba Moro and others? Over to you!

      • Otile

        Have you ever heard of sacking a corrupt Hausa Fulani for incompetence
        or for whatever reason? That would violet the spirit federal character.
        Peace, comrade peace.

        • endingNaija

          Abba Moro ati Diezani Alison Madueke? What do you think?

          • Otile

            No comparison, the former is a product of federal character, the later is there by merit. What do you think?

          • endingNaija

            Diezani Alison Madueke there as a minister on merit? Which merit? Bottom, smiles and body shake merit. Okay sorry oooo I forgot. The smiles, body shakes are your own conception and President Jonathan’s conception of “merit”. That is nice! I go laafu taya for dis kind merit! Shake Body Merit!

          • Baba

            Which merit? You are calling graduates of exam malpractice product of merit. Most southern graduates are engaged in malpractice or in the alternative obtain fake certificates

          • Otile

            Nobody can hold a coherent conversation with you Arewa people. In order to deflect attention from the glaring incompetence of your brother Sheik Abba Moro, you guys are now talking about the Petroleum Minister, and the other guy is talking about graduates, exam leaks, forged certificates. Soon another Northerner will come up with university strikes, cultism. Yet another may introduce non payment of teachers as a result of falling standard of education in Nigeria. In the end nobody will remember that the article is about Sheik Moro. Haba.

          • Tawandah incommunicado

            The Petroleum Ministry should always be headed by a Niger deltan so that the environmentally devastating contracts signed by the Fulani oligarchs in the past will not be repeated.

          • endingNaija

            We are talking about the theft and corruption Diezani Alison Madueke sits on on behalf of Goodluck Jonathan. What have you to say to that?

          • Tawandah incommunicado

            No !! We should be talking about the plundering and looting of Nigeria’s oil revenue since the oil boom of the 1970s by the Hausa-Fulani led plundering oligarchy.We should be talking about the usurpation of 80% of Nigeria’s productive oil-blocs by the same thieving oligarchy up to date.We should be talking about the fact that all Nigeria’s oil billionaires are made up of northerners and South-westerners who assisted in the looting. we should be talking about the marginalisation and recklessly abandonment of the oil producing region by the same group of thieves !!

          • Otile

            What does Diezani have to do with incompetence at Immigration? Why not reason like a grownup for once? Did you read the articles before you started displaying your hatred?

          • endingNaija

            Diezani does not have anything to do with corruption and incompetence in Immigration just as Abba Moro does not have anything to do with incompetence and corruption in petroleum industry. You hear? But one thing ties the two together. That thing is President Jonathan’s love of corrupt ministers. So? President Jonathan cannot sack Diezani Alison Madueke just as President Jonathan cannot sack Abba Moro. You hear? you understand now otile na reno omokri na mani_kay na mpitikwelu na the truth na redeem na akpos1 na Tawandah.

          • Baba

            Fulani oligarchs are too much for you Mr middle Belt the bat; you are neither here no there and shall continue to be play around like a ball by northerners and southerners.

          • Tawandah incommunicado

            Nonsense !!

      • Tawandah incommunicado

        The question is not about “Jonathan” rather it is about the general persistent culture of unaccountability in the Nigerian political system.
        I understand you have picked and chosen the southern Minister whom you hate,My question for you is ,”what makes you think that the petroleum ministry must always be a northerner” ?
        Abba Moro was incompetent,he was supposed to submit his resignation . Allison-Madueke is just hunted by wicked idots from a particular region without a drop of oil on their land and who bring nothing to the table except terrorism !

        • endingNaija

          Look my friend stop your rantings and dodge. Abba Moro should not just resign, he should be prosecuted and jailed. But Jonathan will not and cannot because President Jonathan is the gang leader of a cohort of corrupt ministers and Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke is a chief member of that evil cohort that has brought this country from grace to grass. What is wrong in being blunt and putting things on record. I repeat in a decent country Abba Moro will be in jail for now. He is not there because President Jonathan will protect him. And similarly, the incompetent and innately corrupt Diezani Alison Madueke has not business being a minister in decent society. She should have been sacked long ago. So what is wrong in LISTING all the gang of corrupt ministers President Jonathan protects? Answer. You are the jingoist who must protect idle ministers who get their posts and retain them because they can smile and open their teeth wide and shake their bodies at the president called Goodluck Jonathan

          • Tawandah incommunicado

            Mrs Madueke is the most competent oil Minister of the past 50 years and she is not going anywhere yet……Saudi Arabia had one Sheik Zaki Yamani as oil Minister for nearly 20 years, Mrs Allison-Madueke will break that record since the dead oligarch Rilwanu Lukman failed to do so. Better get used it and stop moaning over spilt milk !!

          • endingNaija

            You have just hit the nail on the head. Corrupt, incompetent, ministers are the beloved ministers of President Jonathan. That is why Body Shake Oil minister Diezani Alison Madueke one of the worst and most corrupt ministers ever will be retained by the head of corruption himself-Goodluck Jonathan. That is why Abba Moro will be retained. The point is and question is: why are you all whining that Goodluck Jonathan has not sacked Abba Moro when you know that the strength of GoodlUck Jonathan is in retaining his corrupt ministers so long as the make their daily/monthly/annual /periodic deliveries to him from their ministry’s budget? Answer Tawandah na Reno Omokri na the truth na redeem na mani_kay na mpitikwelu na Goodluck Jonathan!

    • tundemash

      Only under Dumbo would a man admit manslaughter and walk free and the man who appointed him and hold the reigns of security is assumed not negligent. On whose table does the buck stop ?

  • the truth

    In a saner country you should have resigned a long time are eligible for prosecution.

    • endingNaija

      Yes Abba Moro ati Diezani Alison Madueke and others in the inherently corrupt Goodluck Jonathan govt. What do you think Mr. “Neutral”?

    • tundemash

      In saner country if he does not resign, the man who appointed him (Dumbo) should have sacked him ! And yet you preach to us 4 more years of this nonsense Mr. “Fake Neutrality” ?

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  • G4

    Because your boss does not give a damn

  • djay

    U all are men without honour.

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  • Ogbologbo

    The problem with this our President is that the guy has no red line on anything. He accepts each and everything that happens in his administration. I am really at a loss over this guy called GEJ.

    People have resigned in other counties for just mis-statements and this goon says he wants to hang around to fix the problem he created. What solution can he have another accident waiting to happen?.

  • Ogbologbo

    People, forget about Diezani oh. She cannot be sacked because she “knows where the bodies are buried”, so to speak.

  • MushinSpeaks

    It is sad that we still have a Moro heading one of our most imoortant ministries.

    In a sane country, Moro should be behind bad, sorting out the mess he masterminded while a competent individual replace him and clear the mess.

    You cant be the judge in your case. Your continuous stay in that office will hurt the departed souls.

    The recruitment exercise justified the 20.3 million youths between the ages of 15-35 who are jobless and we have a Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spreading false news that GEJ has added million jobs.

    For Christ sake, where are the jobs? Who were those employed? Many of our youths are impoverished to further use them for election gains. Moro should account for the dead applicants.

    We cant just continue with GEJ’s mess. Enough!

    Please, my fellow youths on this platform, let us all resist any intimidation, suppression or oppression. Dont trade your vote for a cup of garri or stomach infrastructure.

    Make a valid decision by voting right. Vote competence!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Only in Nigeria can this nonsense happen. Even the set down regulatory bodies that are supposed to see to the removal of the minister did nothing. As usual, the National Assembly instituted probes but nothing was heard thereafter! President Jonathan talked tough and then fizzled away like air diffusing from a deflated balloon. Extra-governmental bodies who had prided themselves as society’s watchdog made some mock dance of battle on the ground, left scratches on it and disappeared with tail between the hindquarters. And so Abba Moro, the Interior Minister, was left unchallenged and unscathed. Therefore he now has the effrontery to mouth that he would not resign since he had to stay put to clear the mess as if he was the only person in Nigeria destined to make things work!

    Nigeria is a country filled with tragi-comedy of errors!

    • endingNaija

      I repeat Abba Moro will be in jail in decent societies. But so long as we run a regime of impunity as we have it with President Jonathan, so long as some Nigerians support govt of impunity on tribal grounds as you can see here with the posts of some people corrupt ministers like Abba Moro will not resign . Why? Because corrupt ministers like Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke has the eternal backing of the king of the gang of corrupt ministers-President Jonathan. And you can see from the posts here how that happen. When you have a precedent in not sacking corrupt ministers, when some people say because diezani alison madueke is from ND , therefore she cannot be sacked even when she is the epitome of corruption, what then is the ground for wanting to sack one corrupt minister while preserving the other? Because one can smile and shake body and bottom before Oga President Jonathan? Because one comes from Niger Delta? We must be kidding ourselves not to see this precedent and serial condoning of impunity by Goodluck Jonathan. Abba Moro should be in jail . But he will not besacked because Goodluck Jonathan condones corrupt ministers such as Moro, Alison Madueke and others. When you create a precedent it is difficult to stop it. That is the lesson.

    • Jide

      You are absolutely correct, this is insult to all nigerian youths, we have to stand up for our right and tell PDP that,they can’t continue leading us without our consent.

  • McAlfred Uta

    Moro will fix the problem he created by bringing the dead back to life. Moron sorry Moro cannot go because the Senate President is his Godfather and neither the House of Reps nor Senate will wade into the matter for the sake of spirit de corpse sorry corps. Moro please ride on the usual Nigerian docility has forgotten your gravely and deadly misdeeds at Ministry of Interior. Why on earth did you resurrect a forgotten matter by granting this opprobrious interview.

    • Tawandah incommunicado

      Espirit ‘de’ corps amongst looters and incompetent persons ?

      • tundemash

        Reality is overtaking fantasy at last. It tooks u 4 years to see what we saw back in 2011 ?
        What was his achievement in a small state Bayelsa to make you feel he will perform wonders in a big country like Nigeria ? Aside religion and ethnicity, what were his qualities? You are not being fare to him; you should not expect Dumbo to give what he does not have!

  • Dr Chukwudinma Prime

    The NYSC, under the Administration of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has perfected her craft to charge jobless young graduates, whom this country has failed in all respects, and some, of whom struggled to finance their education through the universities and polytechnics, an unethical “technological” fee of #4000 each. This is the first of such an impunity, in the over 41yr history of the NYSC scheme. Its happening in the most corrupt democratic rule, in Nigerian history. The most interesting of it all, is that it is championed by the notorious and controversial minister of interior, Abba Moro, who supervised the immigration recruitment scam, that profited him over #1bn, at the expense of the sacred lives of many poor unemployed young Nigerian job seekers. It may also interest you to know that as I write, the Goodluck Jonathan administration is yet to order a refund of the #1000 each paid by the over 1million dead and living defunct job seekers. Abba Moro is a beast, with no remorse.. This is our country, the kind of country we find ourselves in. President Jonathan is a colossal failure!! Quote me “He lacks the credentials to contest and win a credible election, with the current situation of things”.. He has the yoke of corruption, comfortably hanging and dangling on his neck. He has grown so unpopular, and someone has to tell him to get his acts together and sit up!!

  • Abate Dokpu

    Abba Moron will not resign because he serves a moronic clueless, and inept president. Otherwise, what temerity? Who does this moron think he is anyway?

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