…Retrieve 700 voter cards
Comptroller General of the Nigetia Immigration Service (NIS) Muhammad Babandede, has said that he will not respond to accusation and counter accusation that the People Democratic Party (PDP) imported foreigners into its rally held in Sokoto state last Monday.
The agency therefore assured that it won’t hesitate to arrest any foreigner trying to participate during the forthcoming elections.
NIS also revealed that that it has retrieved more than 700 voter cards from non-Nigerians living in the country.
The Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-rufai had accused accused the PDP of importing foreigners from Niger to its Sokoto rally but one of his political rivals adviced him the ruling party to also import its own crowd from Sudan.
But speaking on Saturday at the 2018 NIS award presentation in Abuja, the NIS boss who warned not to join him with politicians, added that the service will be fully involved in the election process to ensure that no foreigner voted during the 2019 general elections.
Recall that on Friday some youths in Sokoto state had given the Nigerian Immigration Service 24-hour ultimatum to respond to the allegation by Governor Ahmed El-rufa’i of Kaduna state that foreigners were imported for the flag off of Northwest presidential campaign of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto on Monday.
The youths stormed the federal secretariat where the zonal office of NIS is located armed with placards some of which read “El-rufa’i is a liar.”
But when asked to react to react to the allegation, Babandede said: “Do you think I am politician? I’m not a politician. What I will do if I see them during election is that we will arrest them, if we see them trying to participate by voting. So, I’m not a politician, I’m not going to talk about accusation and counter accusation by politicians please.”
On the voter cards retrived so far, Babandede said: “This year, we have retrieved over 700 voter cards from non-Nigerians. We will be there during elections to ensure that non-Nigerians don’t participate. We will make sure that they don’t vote and they are not voted for. During the election, we will ensure the borders are secured so that nobody can enter the country during the days of election.
“Immigration service has changed for the better. We have built the capacity of personnel and improved on structures and contributed to Nigeria’s security and prosperity in many ways.” Babandede said.
He added that such areas included the Ease of Doing Business whereby the service had assisted businessmen to get visas as quickly as possible without hurdles.
“We have trained so many officers. There has never been a time Nigeria Immigration Service has gotten better structures than now. The approval of the technology building worth N7.1 billion by President Muhammadu Buhari will serve all law enforcement agencies where we will share such information online with partners.
“I thank President Buhari for approving the unique project for the NIS. That has never been done since inception in 1958.
“We became independent in 1963. Since that time, we have not gotten a centre to coordinate all our operations until this year when the President approved the technology building.
“Julius Berger has already started work on the site. It was launched by the Minister of Interior last week,” Babandede said.
The comptroller-general said that with the support of NIS board, the ‘bad guys’ were punished in 2018.
“We dismissed many officers, retired officers and reduced the rank of officers. Today is a day for the good officers,” he said.