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Over 500,000 applicants participate in recruitment exercise for 4,556 immigration jobs. Applicants die in stampede at Abuja stadium - minister blames deaths on applicant's impatience
| March 14, 2014
Hundreds of thousand of job seekers in various locations across Nigeria took part in a recruitment exercise for jobs with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). The immigration service had announced the exercise earlier and charged each applicant N1,000 as processing fee. The immigration service is reported to have made billions of Naira from applicant's processing fee. Meanwhile, there are only 4,556 positions currently available. In Lagos about 56,000 applicants showed up for the exercise and in Abuja about 69,000 applicants showed up. In Akure about 12,000 applicants showed up; in Port Harcourt about 23,000 people showed up at the Liberation Stadium; in Minna about 11,000 people showed up while in Benin city over 28,000 applicants showed up for the exercise at the Ogbemudia Stadium. However, tragedy struck at some venues with some reports saying about 16 people died at different locations. In Abuja, seven people were reported dead after a stampede occurred while applicants tried to pass through an entrance to the stadium. In Benin, at the Ogbemudia Stadium, a pregnant women collapsed and died. Soldiers at the Ogbemudia stadium are reported to have fired sporadically into the air to try to regain control of the crowd at the stadium after they became rowdy. In Minna a stampede occurred after tear gas was shot by security officials at the location. Two applicants are reported to have died at the Minna centre. In Calabar, applicants were flogged by soldiers and immigration officials as they tried to gain control of the crowd at the Federal Government Girls College where the recruitment exercise was held. Some applicants said that they got to the venue at about 5a.m but learnt that the screening would not start until about 2:30pm. Reacting to the incidents, a spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service said that the rowdiness was caused by applicants who were rejected but refused to leave the location. The spokesman said, âthey were getting unmanageable and you know the venue has lots of cars and property so if they were not scared away by the shooting, they would have engaged in violence as they had begun throwing stones.â The Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, also responded to the tragedy and blamed the deaths on the applicant's impatience saying, âThe applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise. Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one. This caused stampede and made the environment unsecured.â The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also responded and expressed grief over the death of the applicants and said that it is unfortunate and disheartening that the victims paid the ultimate price while trying to get jobs.

(1) Comment


Comments

"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Accra, GHANA    March 18, 2014
I like to see this sad effect from three perspectives:
(i) May the souls of the dead rest in peace. I sympathise with the families and relatives of the dead. May God comfort them, amen.

The PDP's response was fatherly and appropriate;
(ii) The responses of the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Minister of the Interior were insensitive and rubbish. The death resulted from faulty planning. Those whose hands were in the whole rubbish should be investigated and disciplined; and

(iii) The taste of the pudding is in the eating, I learnt. The Federal Government claimed on many fora that many millions of jobs had been created for the jobless Nigerian youths. What caused the upsurge in the application for the Nigerian Immigration Service that over 500,000 candidates had to apply for less than 5,000 vacancies?

Humm! God save Nigeria.
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