Sunday, March 16, 2014

FULL GIST: Immigration Recruitment Tragedy, 20 Dead, 25+ In Critical Condition, Thousands Injured.

Thousand of young job seekers invited to take an aptitude test by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have seized all roads leading to the National Stadium venue of the test in protest.
The applicants who said they were shortchanged by the Immigration Service are currently chanting anti- government songs insisting they won’t be going home anytime soon.

 Several of them said, " after all, we have no jobs and, therefore, there is nothing to return home to do."

They are  also calling for the refund of N1,000 application fee taken from them to enroll for the NIS job screening test that did not hold in Lagos as planned.

 At least 100,000 of them came to the 45,000-capacity National Stadium  early today, with, the hope of gettin, a position out of the 3,000 job openings declared by the NIS but the screening exercise was cancelled.

 Already at least 20 applicants  have been confirmed dead in a stampede at different venues across the country while lots of many are in critical conditions. Below is a detailed account of all that went down yesterday.......
3 Applicants Die, one in critical condition while the other three are in stable condition In Niger State
Three of the over 11,000 candidates for the aptitude test for recruitment  into the Nigeria Immigration Service were on Saturday feared dead in Minna, Niger State capital.

They died  following a stampede during accreditation and clearance of candidates to enter into the examination hall.

Situation got out of the control of Immigration personnel as the applicants overwhelmed the officials supervising  the exercise forcing one of the officers to open tear gas and in the process seven persons collapsed and were rushed to the hospital where three persons gave up the ghost.

Trouble started when the applicants became unruly as they complained of the slow pace of the accreditation the Chief examiner from the headquarters of the service whom we gathered insisted to call names of the candidates based on the serial numbers of the application forms but did not go down well with the candidates.

This development precipitated a rowdy session as most candidates who were on a queue became apprehensive and complained that the line, which was over a kilometre was not moving as anticipated.

One of the victims that was rushed to Minna General Hospital was in a critical condition while the  other three injured victims are said to have been stable but quarantined from the public and the media.

Efforts to get details about the victims were fruitless as the hospital authority and staff refused to comment based on security directive.

But a medical personnel confirmed that three of the seven injured persons were dead, one in critical condition while the other three are in stable condition.

He further said that the bodies of those who died have been deposited at the mortuary.

But the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Sule said only two of the applicants dead. According to him, “one female was reported dead on arrival at the hospital and the other male applicant died at Minna General Hospital.”

He also said that four other males were equally treated and discharged, while seven other females applicants are currently receiving treatment for their injuries at the hospital.

The Niger State Controller of Immigration Service, Ezekiel S. Kaura confirmed that 11,000 candidates sat for the recruitment examination in Minna centre but said that five collapsed as a result stampeded and were rushed to the hospital.

Three Pregnant Women Die, 20 Others Injured In Benin
Three pregnant women participating in the Benin zone of the immigration recruitment exercises slumped and died immediately inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia stadium on Saturday.

The applicants had turned up for the exercise as early as 6am , but the screening couldn’t start till 2:15pm when some of the applicants started leaving after the stampede .

Trouble started around 10 am, when the immigration officials incharge of the screening lost control of the crowd prompting the soldiers on guard to start shooting sporadically in into the air.

Over twenty eight thousands applicants that took part in the one day exercise started running for safety that resulted in stampede .

As the time of filing this story over twenty persons are been revived at a nearby hospitals while the three pregnant women died before help came their way .

Some of the applicants who with our reporter condemned the way and manner the exercise is be conducted with the immigration officials in charge having no human feelings.

Mr Isaac, an applicant expressed shock over the inhuman way they were been treated by the recruiting officers .

“Can you imagine sir, this is 2: 10 pm , we are still loitering around with no concrete information from the recruiting officers.

“Oga, they should help asked the immigration officials, why the shooting . To organize the applicants is easy . Now , the shooting has cause big problem .

Three pregnant women died, over twenty persons are been hospitalized . Now, the exercise is on hold .”

Four Applicants Dead, Four in critical condition,  four treated and discharged In Port Harcourt
Hospital authorities at the Rivers government-owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital in Port Harcourt have confirmed that four candidates died during a stampede at the Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 20,000 candidates were involved in a stampede at the Liberation stadium, Port Harcourt, venue of the exercise on Saturday morning.

The news agency quoted a source at the hospital as saying 12 candidates were brought to the hospital after the stampede.

“I can confirm to you that four have died, four others in critical condition while four were treated and discharged,’’ the source said.

The source, who pleaded for anonymity, said a pregnant woman was among the dead.
The source said doctors and specialists have been called back to duty to assist to save the lives of the remaining four candidates on emergency list.

“Some of the candidates were in bad condition because they were trampled upon during the stampede,” the source said.

At the military hospital, Port Harcourt, authorities confirmed receiving some of the injured persons but said they were being taken care of.

However, Mr. Abang Bisong, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Rivers Command, confirmed to NAN that some of the injured were taken to the hospital but did not know their condition.

The Immigration recruitment held across Nigeria on Saturday with several reports of deaths and stampede from different states. Advertised positions were for university graduates, diploma holders and Senior Secondary School Certificate holders.

10 applicants faint in Imo State
However, in Imo State, Gov. Rochas Okorocha assured the job seekers that he would ensure that they were not short-changed in the recruitment.

Mr. Okorocha gave the assurance in Owerri on Saturday at Dan Anyiam Stadium where thousands of applicants gathered for the aptitude test for employment in NIS.

He said he would ensure that the employment quota for Imo was filled by indigenes of the state.
The governor said that not all the applicants would be successful and advised them to also apply for jobs in the “Imo Youths Must Work programme” of the state government.

NAN reports that no fewer than 10 applicants, including three expectant mothers, fainted while waiting for the commencement of the test.

Some of the applicants expressed disappointment over the manner the exercise was organised.

An applicant, Nwakuche Isigu, said he left his village in Oguta Local Government Area by 6a.m. to ensure that he arrived early at the venue.

Another applicant, Onyemobi Anyanwu, called on the Federal Government to create more jobs for the youth.

In Kebbi, 5,000 applicants assembled at Halliru Abdu Stadium, where officials had tough time controlling the applicants.

The venue witnessed a boom in economic activities as food and snacks vendors as well as sachet water sellers enjoyed good patronage.

The police, Federal Road Safety Cops and National Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel assisted in the maintenance of order at the venue. (NAN)

Ten Applicants Dead in Abuja
At least 10 job seekers died earlier Saturday while many more sustained varying degrees of injury during a stampede at the National Stadium in Abuja, the venue of a recruitment test by the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).

Several thousands of job-seekers thronged the stadium to take the test, but Immigration officials made available only one entrance to the 60,000-capacity stadium. An applicant who turned back after seeing the crowd said it was clear that the applicants were more than 60,000.

At least 40 of the injured were admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja, a source at the hospital said, adding that several others were referred to other hospitals due to lack of capacity to admit and treat all those injured. A source at the hospital said he expected the death toll to rise.

The recruitment exercise also went on in all other states of the federation. At the National Stadium, Surulere — venue of the Lagos recruitment exercise — an applicant told SaharaReporters that prospective job-seekers present on Saturday morning far outnumbered the 45,000 capacity of the stadium.

“I can tell you that more than 100,000 people came for this test,” he said. “I have never seen this kind of crowd before in my life. Even if this was a FIFA World Cup football match, you will never get these many spectators.”

The huge crowds at the various recruitment centers all over Nigeria were not a strange development, considering Nigeria’s unimpressive unemployment statistics.

In 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the country’s unemployment rate at 23.9%. However, industry analysts believe that not only is the true unemployment figure far higher but that the rise in the rate of unemployment over the last three years has been deliberately underestimated by the Nigerian government to paint a rosy picture of economic recovery.
Abuja — the Federal Capital territory (FCT) venue of the ongoing recruitment test by the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).

Several thousands of job-seekers thronged the stadium to write the test but only one entrance to the 60,000-capacity stadium was made available. An applicant who turned back after seeing the crowd said there was no way the applicants would not have been more than 60,000.

At least 40 of those who were injured were admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja, a source at the hospital said, adding that several others were referred to other hospitals due to lack of capacity to admit and treat all those injured.

The recruitment exercise is also ongoing in all other states of the federation. At the National Stadium, Surulere — venue of the Lagos recruitment exercise — an applicant told SaharaReporters that prospective job-seekers present on Saturday far outnumbered the 45,000 capacity of the stadium.

“I can tell you that more than 100,000 people came for this test”, he said. “I have never seen this kind of crowd before in my life. Even if this was a FIFA World Cup football match, you will never get spectators this many”.

The crowd at the various recruitment centers all over Nigeria is  actually not a strange development, considering Nigeria’s unimpressive unemployment statistics.

In 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the country’s unemployment rate at 23.9% , but observers believe that not only is the true figure far higher, the rise in the rate of unemployment over the last three years has been underestimated to paint a rosy picture economic recovery by the Nigerian government.

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