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MIIVOC PRESS RELEASE: IMMIGRATION RECRUITMENT STAMPEDE: THIS SCAM MUST BE PROBED

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Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC is shocked at the death of tens of Nigerian unemployed youths who died in the course of a recruitment test organized by the Nigerian Immigration Service last weekend.

As a non-governmental organization that believes in due process, transparency, accountability and protection of human rights, we are amazed that in the 21st century, public office holders still adopt strategies that never worked even in the dark ages.

The tragedy should have been averted, if persons in positions of authority did their Job in a professional, competent and transparent manner.

Our preliminary investigations show that there are more questions than answers on why the tragedy occurred across the centers. The entire exercise was a charade and marred by deceit.

Consequently, MIIVOC has resolved to drag the Federal government of Nigeria and other concerned persons to Court if they fail to conduct a proper probe on the incident. The findings of the probe must be made public and those indicted made to face the wrath of the law.

This jamboree that took the lives of innocent young Nigerians must be probed. The lives of Nigerian youths must not waste, just like that. Our agents were in Port Harcourt, Owerri and Abuja and we saw things for ourselves.

More worrisome is the fact that these same unemployed graduates were compelled to pay a compulsory application fee by the Service, in conspiracy with its cohorts. What other scam could be worse than this? This is an obvious act of corruption and extortion that must also be investigated.

Consequently, we hereby call on the Federal government to immediately suspend from office, the country's Minister for Interior, Abba Moro, Comptroller General of Immigration and all other public officers involved in the exercise, pending the outcome of the investigations.

Also, the Federal government should forthwith, place a perpetual ban on all forms of application levy by government Agencies, Parastatals and Ministries in Nigeria. Steps must also be taken to 'heavily' compensate the families of those that lost their lives in the exercise, beyond rhetoric.

We shall be left with no option, than to seek legal redress and mobilize Nigerians for mass protest against this barbaric and criminal waste of innocent lives of Nigerians, if our demands are not met within seven days.

There shall be no alternative to justice in this matter.

Walter Duru
Executive Director

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