Nigeria’s Immigration Job Recruitment Exercise Death Toll Rises To 13

Two applicants slumped and died at the recruitment venue in Minna on Saturday where over 12,000 applicants from the state converged for recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, four applicants also died.

This brings the death tally to 13, with seven persons dying in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Some applicants were also injured as a result of stampede in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

The Public Relations Officer of NIS in Rivers, Mr Abang Bisong, who confirmed the incident to NAN in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said the stampede was caused when about 20, 000 candidates forced their way into the stadium, which can only hold 16,000 people.

“During the stampede, some candidates fell and were trampled upon by others, while some became unconscious due to the incident.

“The victims have been taken to the Military Hospital for rehabilitation and treatment.

The Niger state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Sule, confirmed the death of the two applicants.

“One female applicant was reported dead on arrival at the hospital and the male applicant died of his injuries on admission at Minna General Hospital,” he said.

He said four other male applicants were treated for their injuries and discharged, while seven females were currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

He said the immigration service had not liased with the government on the recruitment exercise given the large number of applicants expected.

However, officials of the immigration service declined to comment on the death and told NAN that they would brief the media on Monday on the exercise.

NAN reports that the Government Girls Day Secondary School, Minna venue of the exercise was packed full with the applicants who besieged the place as early as 7a.m.

Immigration officers had a hard time managing the crowd who formed long queues armed with their notification slips.

An applicant who simply gave his name as Mohammed told NAN that unruly behaviour of some of the applicants led to the stampede which caused the deaths.

“The pushing and shoving at the venue entrance by some unruly applicants led to the stampede resulting in injuries to some applicants, who were rushed to the hospital,” he said. (NAN)

Despite the deaths, the NIS recruitment examination took place in all centres.

The examination, which started in Abuja at 4 p.m., was characterised by a lot of irregularities, according to some applicants.

One of the applicants, Mrs Gloria Okon, said that the Nnamdi Azikwe National Stadium, Abuja, was jam-packed with the applicants.

She said that many applicants who could not find their way into the venue wrote the examination outside the stadium.

Okon said she came before 7.a.m but could not enter inside the stadium because of the surging crowd.

She said the examination was conducted in batches, B.Sc, HND, OND, NCE and SSCE, adding that candidates struggled for question papers in all the batches.

Another applicant, Mr Monday Iju, who sustained injuries on his ankle during the stampede, said he managed to write the examination in spite the injury because he needed the job at all cost.

Iju prayed to be among the candidates that would eventually secure employment through such exercise.

Mr Charles Ameh, another candidate, said he had to struggle with another candidate who had about five question papers with him before he could get his own.

Mr Yahaya Ismael, another candidate, said he could not withstand the stress, adding that he and his friends had to go back home because they lost confidence in the examination.

“I did not write the examination because of the way it was conducted; they asked us to come early but refused to open the gate.

“I left the venue of the exercise at 2 p.m. when I discovered that there was no proper coordination

“The crowd was too much I am sure they were just suffering people to justify the money they collected from people.

NAN reported that some victims of the stampede with minor injuries received medical attention as outpatients in some hospitals in the FCT and discharged.

At the General Hospital, Asokoro, Dr Austin Ejembi, the doctor on duty at the casualty unit, said that the hospital treated 18 people.

He, however, said that there was no loss of life, adding none of the victims was admitted.

(P.M. News)

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