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Gov. Ishaku Should Cancel Sales of Employment Forms in Taraba

The decision by the Taraba state Civil Service Commission to declare and advertise for applications for 1,825 vacant positions in the state civil service was met with mixed reactions across the state.

On one hand for thousands of the teeming unemployed graduates and their parents, this was a welcome development as a ray of hope has been opened for their long awaited employment into the state civil service. 

On the other hand however, the N3000 being charged for the employment forms by the commission has met with a storm of protests across the state as being exploitative and insensitive.  Of lately, states government and federal agencies has abolished sales of recruitment forms, Taraba should not be an exemption.  

Indeed a protest march which has been called to demonstrate the outrage of the people of the state on Monday July 18, 2021 over this measure had to be postponed in view of the Eid el Kabir holidays which coincided with the date of the protests.

The protest march has now been rescheduled to take place next Monday July 26, 2021.

In the midst of all these, any hope that the Taraba state civil service commission will rescind this unpopular decision was dashed with the statement credited its Chairman John Mamman.

In his statement, the chairman attempted to justify the N3000 fee for the sale of application forms as being backed by the law.

"The N3000 being portrayed as buying a job in the on-going state recruitment exercise is a mandatory fee for application forms as amended in the civil service law of Taraba state 1991'', the chairman said.

While this may well be true, the prevailing circumstances in the state can hardly justify this position by the commission.

In the first place this decision places a burden on the teeming unemployed graduates in the state who having no income to speak of are hardly in a position to pay the fees.

Secondly as the bulk of the prospective applicants come from the lower strata of society in a state classified among the poorest and least developed in the country, levying such fees does not reflect the reality of the economic realities and social situation in the state.

Indeed it is to be expected that many of the applicants are children or wards of ordinary people and state's civil servants who are presently being owed a backlog of salaries and other remunerations.

Under these circumstances how does the Commission expect the applicants to raise the money to purchase the recruitment forms for the exercise?

The Chairman's attempt to dredge up the law to defend the controversial N3000 sale of recruitment forms does not hold water.

It is ironic that the generation of Nigerians to which the Chairman of the Taraba state civil service belongs who virtually had their entire educational and public service career free and gratis at the expense of the state would turn round and seek to make things difficult for succeeding generations in terms of employment and their future. What confidence are they building in the minds of young persons who are already overburdened with the sacrifice they have had to make to graduate from school only to have to endure years of unemployment afterwards?

To attempt to hide under the law in order to justify the action taken by the Taraba state civil service under John Mamman is opportunistic, insensitive and exploitative. A state that does very little to engage and employ the youth over the years only to turn round to exploit their desperate condition as a condition for employing them cannot be described in any other way.

By choosing to go ahead with this clearly extortionate decision, the Chairman needs to be asked some questions

Was funding for the exercise not appropriated in commission's budget for the year? If so why then should the applicants be subjected to the levy? What is the money charged for the sale of forms to be used for? If however the exercise was not appropriated in the commission's budget for the year, why should the poor applicants be made to fund what is for all practical purposes a public exercise which ought to be funded by the government of Taraba state? Has the Taraba state civil service under John Mamman now turned into a commercial entity which commercialises its services? Under the circumstances can it expect to sued by any of the applicants who may come to feel aggrieved or who may have genuine reasons to seek redress for the outcome of the exercise?

Although Chairman John Mamman alluded to what he called ''unprogressive politicians'' as being behind the adverse comments against the decision to sell the recruitment forms, there can be no worse ''unprogressive'' action than what the commission is doing under his watch. It not only casts the commission in bad light as being mercenary, it brings the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku into further disrepute as uncaring and insensitive to the plight of the people of Taraba state who are currently groaning under the unpopular policies of the government.    

In view of the tension the decision of the Taraba state civil service commission has generated in the state, Tarabans are calling on Governor Ishaku to call Chairman John Mamman to order.

For us in Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper, we stand with the three points demand released by the organizers of the rescheduled protest against this decision.  

A total cancelation of all frees for application forms; Refund of all payments to applicants who have applied and brought the forms and ensuring a transparent and credible selection process of applicants are just the right thing to at this moment. 


Governor Ishaku should consider the outrage expressed and demonstrated by Tarabans across political, ethnic and religious divides to this unpopular action by the Taraba state civil service under John Mamman and stand with the people who elected him.


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