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2 years after: Victims of NIS stampede yet to get the promised jobs

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Both Mr. Abba Moro [above] and Mr. David Parradang, the NIS C-G had no explanation but to trade blames on the deaths of the applicants and the injured victims.

Abba Moro and David Parradang

The Nigeria Immigration Service says it is waiting for Muhammadu Buhari, to give approval before it can give jobs to the victims of the 2014 immigration stampede as promised by Goodluck Jonathan.

In an interview with Mr. Chukwuemeka Obua, the former Immigration spokesperson, said Immigration is waiting for Muhammadu Buhari approval before the jobs promised to the victims can be given.

In his exact words, President Buhari needs to look at the Presidential Committee on Immigration Stampede report and give approval. If the president asks Immigration to go ahead in recruiting the victims they will be asked to report in the training school immediately. 

Mr. Obua said, courtesy demands the new government be briefed adequately; Mr. President has to look at the matter to make sure that he does not inherit any liability that might boomerang and embarrass his government tomorrow.

Worse, despite the promised jobs to the victims by the government, many of them said government is yet to fulfill its promise. Some of them said they are yet to be given the immigration jobs as promised. While some say they do not believe government is sincere in making such a pronouncement. Some believe, that is just one of the promises made by the government that were never fulfilled.  

Mr. Sanusi said he was at the Abuja immigration office for verification exercise for the victims and was told he will be contacted in two weeks’ time to resume duty, up till this moment nobody has contacted him to that effect. And he wonders why that will be case despite all the promised made by the government.

Mr. Aliyu said he went for verification exercise at Abuja Immigration office three months ago and up till this moment he has not heard from Immigration.

Mr. Aliyu said, as a follow-up, other victims together with him went to Mrs. Joan Ayo committee chairman office to get clarification. In addressing them, she said, everything concerning their immigration job has been concluded and submitted to the Immigration Service by the committee.

Mr. Ola Dakpo John said at the moment, he walks with crutches as a result of the injury he sustained during the stampede.

Mr. Ola said he went to Abuja Immigration office for verification, however, up to this moment nobody has asked him to come and resume duty.

Mr. Godwin Just like other victims went to Abuja Immigration office for verification exercise and since then nobody had contacted him to come and resume duty as immigration officer.

Mr. Paul Nasiri one of the victims who lost his wife at the stampede said, although Goodluck Jonathan handed a cheque of 5 million Naira and appointment letter dated March 1st, 2015 to him. He has made all the available efforts to be enlisted into the immigration service, but all effort proved abortive. He accused the immigration service of not being transparent in the process.

On Saturday March 15th 2014, the Nigerian Immigration Service conducted a nationwide recruitment exercise with job applicants compelled to pay registration fee of N1, 000 into dedicated Nigerian Immigration Service bank accounts across the federation.

According to Mr. Abba Moro, the former Minister of Interior, about 520,000 people registered for the recruitment exams, and only 4,556 persons were to be recruited based on available vacancies.

Regrettably, the recruitment exercise took place in various centres across the country but a defining character of the exercise was the lack of planning, organization.

The exercise resulted to the death of Twenty Nigerians while other sustained varying degree of injuries occasioned by the stampede that characterized the exercise.

 Nigeria Immigration Service Newsletter March/April 2014 edition, Vol.1 No.6 titled a commemorative edition for the dead revealed that six persons died in Rivers state.

They include; Dorathy Edidiong, Lucy Akpan Eno, Ama Grace, Brown Darlington and Sunday Okezue Kalu.

One person died in Niger state, Ibrahim I Mohammed.

In Edo state, Sandra I.A.A. Amu died.

In Bauchi state, Mudashiru .M. Ahmed died.

While in Abuja, Oyiza Yusuf, Dorcas Danladi, Muhammed Musa, Maryam Kekere, Patience Agaga, Auta D. Adams and Taiwo Dorcas died.

Following this tragedy, the Federal government led by Goodluck Jonathan canceled the exercise and directed that a fresh exercise be conducted by a special committee chaired by the Federal Civil Service Commission.

Goodluck Jonathan, gave automatic employment at the Immigration service for three (3) members of the deceased family with a condition that one of the beneficiaries must be a female.

He also declared free treatment for those who sustained injuries.

Worried by the shambolic way the recruitment exercise was conducted and the level of casualties, the Senate Committee on Interior conducted an investigation into the matter.

The Committee is yet to submit its report to the Senate at plenary. 

However, facts that emerged from the investigative hearing conducted by the Senate committee showed that both Mr. Abba Moro and Mr. David Parradang, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, had no explanation but to trade blames on the deaths of the applicants and the injured victims.

Audu Liberty Oseni


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