By Taiye Odewale
Senate yesterday endorsed move by its Committee on Federal Character, to carry out thorough investigation on alleged lopsided recruitment exercise recently carried out by the Department of State Service.
The committee Chairman, Senator Tijjani Abubakar Kaura (APC, Zamfara North), had, during plenary, declared that his committee, based on petitions received from some concerned Nigerians on recent recruitment exercise by the DSS, resolved to probe the exercise considered to be highly lopsided in favour of a particular state and section of the country.
Accordingly, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, in his response to Kaura’s submission, gave the committee the go-ahead with the probe and update the Senate with its findings.
“Your committee should please go ahead with the planned investigation on the alleged lopsided recruitment in DSS to right whatever wrongs that must have been committed in the general interest of all Nigerians”, he said.
Reports from the alleged lopsided exercise carried out by the agency last month, revealed wide disparity in state by state allocation of the 479 newly commissioned cadet officers.
While the Director-General of the agency, Lawal Daura, ensured that at least five cadets were recruited from each state of the federation and the FCT, the scale was ‘heavily’ tipped in favour of some states in the North, regarding other extraneous considerations.
Specifically, only the minimum of five cadets stipulated per state finally entered the Service from Akwa Ibom, Nigeria’s largest oil producing state, while a whopping 51 found their way in from Katsina state, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura.
Furthermore, the two most populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, were given 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the recruitment was not based on the population of states.
A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet officers on geo-political basis revealed that 165 are from the North-west, roughly four times as many as those who were picked from the South-south, 42.
The figures for the other zones are North-east, 100; North-central, 66; South-west 57 and South-east, 44.
Going by the report therefore, while 331 of the newly commissioned officers were from the 19 Northern states and the FCT, less than half of the total intakes were from the Southern part of the country.