Victims of Nigeria Immigration Service Stampede Yet to Get Promised Jobs

Published on 18th January 2016

Stampede Victims
The Nigeria Immigration Service says it is waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to give approval before it can give jobs to the victims of the 2014 immigration stampede as promised by Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari needs to look at the Presidential Committee on Immigration Stampede report and give approval. Courtesy demands that the new government be briefed adequately and ensure it does not inherit any liability that might boomerang and embarrass it tomorrow.

A Mr. Sanusi said he was at the Abuja immigration office for verification exercise for the victims and was told he would be contacted in two weeks’ time to resume duty. Todate, nobody has contacted him to that effect. A Mr. Aliyu who went for the verification exercise at Abuja Immigration office three months ago has not heard from Immigration. 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. Ola Dakpo John who now walks with crutches as a result of the injury he sustained during the stampede has not been asked to resume duty. Mr. Paul Nasiri one of the victims who lost his wife at the stampede and was given a cheque of 5 million Naira and appointment letter dated March 1st, 2015 has made all the available efforts to be enlisted into the immigration service, but all effort has proved abortive.

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, due to poor planning and organization, the exercise resulted to the death of Twenty Nigerians while others sustained varying degrees of injuries occasioned by the stampede that characterized the exercise.

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.

By Audu Liberty Oseni

Arm of Hope Foundation.

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