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Immigration tragedy: reps, APC call for probe

Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal

The House of Representatives on Sunday called for investigations into the stampede that claimed  18 lives at the venues of the recruitment exercise by the Nigerian Immigration Service on Saturday.

The House sought to know the “immediate and remote” causes of the deaths.

The Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, who made the call in Abuja, described the death of the young job seekers as “sorrowful and regrettable.”

He added that the tragedy was “unfortunate” because the only crime the deceased committed was that they went searching for jobs that would “better their lot and that of their loved ones.”

Tambuwal, who condoled with the families of the victims, advised the NIS and other agencies planning to recruit in the future to ensure that such a tragedy did not occur again.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, the Speaker also advised the government to collaborate with the private sector to address the unemployment challenges in the country.

Millions of job seekers had paid N1,000 each as application processing fee.

Also, the All Progressives Congress, on Sunday, and the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, called for investigation into the ‘needless deaths’ of some job seekers at some venues of  job test of the NIS.

APC Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Lagos, described the incidence as a direct consequence of unemployment problem plaguing the nation.

The party, according to the statement, expressed ‘great distress’ at the deaths of the job seekers, adding that the minister of interior should bear the direct responsibility for the deaths.

The statement said that the APC commiserated with the families of the victims and wished those injured speedy recovery.

It decried government’s inability to create jobs for the nation’s teeming youths, stressing that the number of jobless Nigerians had reached an alarming rate.

“Massive mindless looting of the public funds that could have been used to create millions of jobs end up in the deep pockets of corrupt government officials without any consequence.

“The truth has been laid bare – 5,000 or so vacancies declared by NIS attracted over six million applicants, from which over half a million job seekers were shortlisted, according to published reports,” it stated.

The statement said that the ministry of interior had many questions to answer over the arrangements made for the job tests in 37 venues nationwide.

“Is it true that the minister directly presided over the recruitment?

“Why was such an arrangement made for the test when so many people were invited?

“Could the test not have been done in batches to avoid a stampede?” it queried.

Also, Fayemi has expressed sadness over the death of the job seekers.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, described the death of the applicants as a “tragedy of unimaginable proportion that has created wounds in the hearts of all Nigerians.”

Describing the tragedy as “avoidable,” the governor called for a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident  to prevent a reoccurrence of such a tragedy.

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