House Probes Minister, Comptroller General Over Death of NIS Candidates

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Seeks employment for relatives of dead applicants
SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives Tuesday mandated its committees on interior, Justice, Labour and Productivity and public service matters to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the stampede that led to the death of over 20 job seekers across the country during the Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment exercise.

Consequently, it said the minister of interior, Mr.

Abba Moro, the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr.

Daniel Paradang, the board and the consultant that handled the exercise should ne sacked.

The decision to investigate the minister and his team was taken after the House adopted a motion moved under matters of urgent national importance  by Hon.

Karimi Sunday.
In the motion titled 'tragedy at 2014 immigration recruitment exercise in Nigerian, it said one million Nigerian youths scrambled for 4,500 job placements', the sponsor prayed the House to condemn what happened and observe one minute silence in honour of the deceased.

The lawmaker equally sought the leave of his colleagues to urge the government, community and religious leaders to interface and evolve means of creating employment opportunities for the teeming mass of unemployed youths in the country.

While accepting the motion, the House presided by the speaker, Hon.

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal also urged the ministry of interior to identify families of those who lost their lives and offer automatic employment to them as a way of compensating them for the loss of their loved ones.

In his lead debate on the motion, Karimi disclosed that on 15lh March 2014, over one million Nigerian youths trooped to Abuja and state capitals to participate in the 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise, for which the Service had on September 2013 advertised positions into it and had obtained N1000 as application fee from each of the applicants.

He said about 70,000 applicants showed up at the National Stadium, Lagos while at Liberty Stadium, Ibadan 20,000 participated.

The statistics according to him include: Abuja National Stadium 70,000, Ilorin, 25,000, Benin, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, 26,000, Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, 5,800.

'In Benue State 17,800 yYouths took part in the exercise and in Port Harcourt, about 23,000 candidates enrolled for the recruitment exercise.

Despite the crises and insecurity in the North East, Gombe and Borno State played host to about 5000 applicants each, while in Sokoto State 10,000 cpplicants participated in the recruitment exercise', he stated.

Karimi lamented 'that this resulted in chaos and stampede in all the centres and several persons were reported dead and many more critically injured.

At least about 21 deaths were reported.
In Benin, three pregnant women lost their lives, in Abuja, eight candidates, including two men and six women died at the venue.

In Port Harcourt, five corpses including that of a pregnant woman were recovered at the scene' Supporting the motion, Hon.

Nkoyo Toyo (PDP, Cross River) attributed the crisis to a structural problem in the Nigerian society.

She also carpeted the minister's claim that the death resulted from the impatience of candidates.

Deputy House leader, Hon.
Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta) said the Immigration scandal called for sober reflection from all Nigerians particularly those in government arguing that devolution of powers was the only answer to the intractable problem of unemployment in the country.

In his submission Hon.
Mohammed Kaita (APC, Katsina) berated the government for generating revenue from the hapless applicants instead of providing jobs to them.

Also speaking in favour of the motion, Hon.
Nkiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Imo) expressed disappointment that even with the tragic turn out of events at the recruitment, the minister and the Comptroller General did not resign suggesting that serious sanction be taken against all those involved in the sham.

According to Hon.
Ali Madaki (APC, Kano), what happened was a 'classic case of a failed state' ,He called on the House to urge the president to sack both the minister and the NIS Comptroller General.

To Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo), the incident was 'a case of criminal neglect of duty' arguing that a responsible organisation should have prepared a conducive environment for the candidates instead of using stadia.

Also speaking in favour of the motion, Hon.
Jumoke Okoya-Thomas (APC, Lagos) blamed the National Assembly for failing to forestall the occurrence of the accident.

She said it was unfortunate that getting quality education and job was a big challenge in Nigeria.