The Journalists International Forum on Migration (JIFORM) has condemned what it termed the untidy eviction of the staff of the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) from the annex of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Abuja 48 hours within the week the notice was served on the agency.
The action generating attention was allegedly carried out based on the orders of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Patami via a text message on the February 9, 2020.
According to the media foundation comprising of over 200 journalists spread across the continents covering migration issues, the nation and the Federal Government does not deserve the needless distractions and embarrassments the crisis is causing at the moment.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by the President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, the body said having analyzed the recent exchanges between the NCC and NIDCOM, we found it extremely unfortunate and uncalled for, the manner the eviction was carried out and the reasons adduced.
“While we consider it as an act of respect to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy not to delve much into the contradictory explanations offered by the NCC, the agency under his ministry’s supervision to justify the action, we however make bold to say that no ministry or agency can claim exclusive ownership of any property in its care as they all belong to the federal government of Nigeria built by tax payers money.
“We therefore call on the Government to wade into the matter and thoroughly investigate the ugly incident and save the nation from further embarrassment.
“At this moment when all the good energies of the nation are being channeled to contain the corona virus, it is expected that all agencies of government should work with harmonious synergy devoid of undue ego to strengthen the economy.
Ajibola disclosed that JIFORM had been inundated with calls and enquiries from media in several countries on the matter days ago.
We cannot but say we read and watched with dismay the statement of the NCC and the video of the eviction of the NIDCOM staff with uttermost dismay and also found totally unacceptable the explanations offered to justify the action.
“Commissioning of any edifice by President Muhammadu Buhari since his assumption of office, to our knowledge has never caused known distraction or obstruction of any working arrangement in the nation.
“It was laughable the suggestion by the NCC on one hand that certain measures of restriction to access the office were necessary to stop the NIDCOM staff that are equally under the payroll of the government from accessing the office. Very strange and laughable.
JIFORM stated that Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa aside from being the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of NIDCOM was a ranking member of National Assembly that should have been accorded respect to be duly informed while on official duty outside Nigeria and be allowed to sort out staff under her before the forceful eviction.
“We are fully aware and can confirm the refurbishing of the said office by NIDCOM before the undue eviction with suspicious alacrity. Giving the development, it is our belief that NIDCOM being an agency interfacing on behalf of the federal government on matters relating to her nationals abroad, deserve to be allocated permanent office. Therefore it is expedient for government to do so without much ado” Ajibola demanded.