The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro has promised that no stone would be left unturned in the probe into the circumstances that led to the death of applicants during the nationwide test conducted over the weekend by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.
Moro during a visit to the National Hospital, Abuja, on Sunday expressed regrets about the incident and confirmed that 19 people have so far been discharged, while eleven others are still receiving treatment.
The minister also ordered the immediate release of the dead bodies to their relations after proper documentation.
His words: “So far 11 persons are still on admission. Most of them have recovered from the shock of yesterday and they are in a very stable condition. And five female and two males died. I have promised that the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) will do everything possible to ameliorate the consequences of the stampede. I think it is premature to talk about employment.
“I have seen the situation and it is unfortunate. If you look at it, you will see that it was all a sign that people attempted to break into the stadium forcefully and in the process people were trampled upon and unfortunately they lost their lives.
“Just like it is in other parts of the country, the reason for the decentralization of the exercise across the states was to ensure that we have reasonable numbers in all the centers that can be controlled. But unfortunately, the preliminary information that is available to me shows that people who didn’t apply were also trying to gain entrance.
“In a stadium like this that has the capacity of 70 thousand people and we had registered people. But unfortunate several unauthorized persons came in here especially pregnant women. In a paramilitary situation I am surprised that pregnant women would want to come and partake in this exercise that involves physical exercises.
“This is not a moment to apportion blames, this is a moment of some level of national tragedy. It calls for some level of understanding among Nigerians and to know that our intentions was to transparently conduct this exercise to ensure that we provide a level playing ground for all Nigerians that are legible to get enlisted to few slots that are available. The choice of the stadium is to take as much as possible eligible for the test.
“The committee will look at everything that is necessary to be done in this circumstance. It is the committee that will be setup later Sunday or first thing Monday morning that will include all stakeholders and non-governmental organizations. I can assure you that they will be given sufficient leverage to examine all the issues connected to this exercise with a view to coming up with observations and recommendations that will help to ameliorate the situation.
“Our consideration now is for those people who are still in the hospital and those dead. It is the committee that will tell us if to suspend or carryon with the exercise. I can assure you that when the findings are out well will take the right decision that will satisfy the aspirations of Nigerians. We have undertaken to provide ambulance as a primary safeguard to assist the families to convey those dead bodies down to their destinations. We have asked that records of patience who are going to take this corpses home should be provide for us so that subsequently we can reach out to the families who have lost their lives”, the Minister explained.