As over 5,000 persons applied for different positions at the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, the commission's boss, Gbenga Edema, is said to be under tremendous pressure by some politicians in the state to favour their candidates, SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.
Edema denied being under pressure.
But sources told SaharaReporters that many of the vacancy slots had been allotted to politicians in the state.
"The truth is that some of jobs have been fixed for some sons and daughters of politicians in the state. You can imagine how close to 6,000 persons will apply for a job like this.
"All the applicants were forced to pay N500 each before they received the forms to apply for the jobs. Even, the chairman of the commission is already under pressure and even confused on the ongoing recruitment because politicians in the state have been lobbying him to draw up a list applicants that will be employed," a source stated.
Continuing, he said, "He did not even know which names he should accept from the politicians who are already asking him to 'fix' their people in the recruitment."
Reacting to the allegation on Wednesday (today), one of Edema's aides, who was not authorized to speak on the matter, told SaharaReporters: "In a situation like this, it is very possible that some person will want to influence or have their way to get the jobs at a cost.
"And if you are asking about some politicians influencing our chairman to get the job for their children what about the traditional rulers even from the mandate areas (Ilaje and Ese Odo) who also want some slot out of the job vacancies?
"For me, I know the chairman can't be bought over because he is also a lawyer that knows the law and he has repeatedly stated that the job openings shall be based on merit.
"I am sure it is part of the reason the applicants were mandated to write an aptitude test. So, the best out of them shall be picked and given the job based on merit.
"Lot of persons applied for the job vacancies and even those outside the state came here to apply. They just want to be fixed somewhere so that they can earn a living. But we shall not go outside our own scheme which is employing based on merit."
It was learned on Tuesday that the number of applicants was beyond available posts.
Vacant positions in the commission was occasioned by OSOPADEC's restructuring at its head office, in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
However, some politicians have begun to lobby the commission to employ, through the back door, their children and other relatives.
OSOPADEC is an intervention agency established by the Laws of Ondo state CAP. 106 in 2001 to cater for the need of the oil-rich areas.
The commission had since last September opened its door for applicants to apply for different positions.
The jobseekers were charged N500 each to obtain application forms.
Some of the vacant positions include agriculture officer, civil engineer, architect, legal officer, accountant, statistician clerical assistant, secretaries, administrative officer, driver, among others.
OSOPADEC was accused of making the vacancies an "in-house affair" until some junior staff reportedly raised the alarm.
Following the applications, the commission began the process of the employment on Tuesday by asking applicants (in the first batch) to write a computer-based test, who had besieged the Public Service Training Institute (PSTI) at Ilara Mokin area of the state.
But the test did not hold.
There was no power and the venue's generator did not work.
One of the applicants, Ayodele Adefemi, spoke with SaharaReporters.
He said, "They asked us to report to the PSTI around 8 am for the test which we even did by coming much earlier around 6 am.
"But due to the faulty generator, the test could not hold and some of us protested against the way job applicants were treated."
Gbenga Edema, OSOPDAEC's chair, was displeased that the test did not hold.
"The interview was handled by the PSTI. You cannot totally blamed us for that. But I know they are already working on how to fix the problem," Edema told SaharaReporters.
He added: "Let me tell you, the last time that OSOPADEC recruited was in 2006; that's 13 years ago.
"We should expect that some people must have retired by now.
"You should also expect that some people died and others left the service. So, we would need the service of all these people that we are recruiting and we also got the approval of Mr. Governor (Rotimi Akeredolu) before we can even embarked on the recruitment."
The test for the second batch of applicant had begun as of the time of filing this report.