Ikoyi Passport Office Head Garo Abdulamid Accused Of Playing Ethnic Card


There is unease at the Ikoyi Passport Office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as Passport Control Of­ficer (PCO), Garo Abdulamid, is ac­cused of playing up the ethnic card.

The PCO is alleged to have, in one day, redeployed 111 officers, which didn’t go down well with the Comp­troller, Passport Command.

But a top officer of Immigration, who doesn’t want his name in print, accused those crying foul of insin­cerity, saying that the PCO had no power to redeploy any personnel from the office.

He said some of those at the Ikoyi Office had spent between five and 15 years of their service lives at a spot, yet resisted redeployment.

It was learnt that Abdul­amid, the PCO, who was post­ed to the Ikoyi Office of Immi­gration a few months back, was not comfortable with some personnel at the office and decided to redeploy them to other commands without following due process and jet­tisoning federal character law.

It was gathered that Fag­bamigba, the Comptroller, Passport Command, kicked against the redeployment of the officers who were mainly from the southern part of the country with a few Christians from the north.

But Abdulamid insisted that the Ikoyi Office of the service was over-staffed, a sit­uation which necessitated the redeployment of the officers.

A source said that the officers were redeployed to Ogun State, Seme-Border, Seme Seaport, Lagos Command, and Federal Patrol.

However, barely 24 hours after the redeployment of the officers, the PCO replaced them with officers of north­ern origin, especially from Kano and Katsina states.

The source close to the Ikoyi Office of the command told our correspondent over the weekend that there is a cold war at the Ikoyi Office of the service as most of the officers are divided over who to support between the PCO and the Comptroller.

The source said: “The new PCO is tagged Emir of Ikoyi Passport Office and he’s so happy with the name. Imme­diately he assumed office, he started plans to redeploy some officers from the passport of­fice, especially the Southern­ers at the office.

“Earlier in the month, no fewer than 111 personnel, mostly Southerners and oth­er handpicked Northerners who are Christians, were redeployed out of the Ikoyi Passport Office.

“The next day, he brought people from the North to replace the Southerners. Of­ficers of Kano and Katsina origins were brought in to re­place the officers redeployed.

“The excuse he gave was that the Ikoyi Passport Office is over-bloated, yet he’s bring­ing in officers from other stations and states to replace redeployed officers.

“In fact, there is no federal character in the redeployment of officers; only Northerners were posted to the Ikoyi Office by the PCO.

“If you go to the Ikoyi Passport Office now, Hausa language is now the official language they speak at the office.”

But a top officer of Immi­gration debunked the ethnic card and unlawful redeploy­ment of officers’ allegation.

First, the top officer said the PCO had no power to re­deploy personnel from the Ikoyi Office but that it was within his purview to engage his personal staff.

The officer alleged that some of the officers at the passport office had spent be­tween five and 15 years at a spot, insisting that they were due for redeployment.

Besides, Immigration as a paramilitary body, he said, could move officers within short notice, adding that some units of Immigration were short-staffed.

 The top officer said: “There are people who have spent between five and 15 years in the Passport Office. You don’t make a particular place a per­manent home.

“We are in a paramilitary service, which means that you can be redeployed at any par­ticular time.

“Someone like me has moved severally from one command to another. At a time, I spent only months at a place.

“However, people read meanings into a lot of things. If that man was an Edo or an Asaba man, nobody will read meanings into it.

“That man doesn’t have the power to redeploy anybody or bring anyone into that place.

“We have a comptroller who oversees that place. Ikoyi, Alausa passport offices are a command with a Comptroller.

“It is for the superior to redeploy them. Most of these people that are telling you these stories are people who think they should remain there.

“Also, prior to the reopen­ing of borders, we were short-staffed and a lot of the agile young people were hid­ing in Ikoyi Passport Office, but Seme border patrols and other areas were looking for personnel because they were choked up in Ikoyi, Festac, and other offices.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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