Spaces for Change (S4C) has filed a request to inspect public records and statistics of jobs created in Nigeria between 2011 – 2013 to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.
Immigration Recruitment Tragedy: Eminent Nigerians demand sack of Minister Abba Moro
Following the deaths of about 20 people across the country during Saturday’s job recruitment exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS; several Nigerians have called for the dismissal of Abba Moro, Nigeria’s Interior Minister.
Their petition, issued Sunday, also called for the dismissal of David Parradang, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, as well as the criminal prosecution of the duo for involuntary homicide.
The petition was signed by Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission; Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Ayo Obe, lawyer and human rights activist; Bashir Tofa, former Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention; Aliyu Modibbo, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Teritory and 57 others.
“The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police together with the Director-General of State Security, should launch a joint criminal investigation into the deaths of these job seekers,” the statement said.
“An independent audit should immediately be instituted into the monies made by the Ministry and the NIS from the job seekers and criminal investigations should be commenced as appropriate,” it added.
On Saturday, stampedes at various centres of the NIS recruitment exercise across the country led to the death of many of the job seekers, including pregnant mothers.
In Abuja alone, seven job applicants lost their lives during a stampede at the overcrowded 60,000 capacity Abuja National Stadium.
Only 4,556 vacancies were advertised by the NIS, but 520,000 applicants registered to write the recruitment test. Each applicant was required to pay a N1,000 processing fee to be eligible to participate.
A PREMIUM TIMES report estimated that the NIS made at least N520 million from this compulsory levy imposed on applicants.
The extortion of the job seekers was done in flagrant disregard of the directive by the House of Representatives that government agency should desist from charging applicants taking part in recruitment exercises.
However, in his reaction to Saturday’s tragedy, Mr. Moro attributed the deaths to the applicants’ “impatience.”
“The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise,” Mr. Moro had said.
“Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one,” Mr. Moro had added.
Mr. Moro’s comment sparked anger across Nigeria on Sunday with many citizens taking to social media to call for his immediate sack.
The statement from these eminent Nigerians appears a response to that call.
The petitioners described Mr. Moro’s reaction as “a callous disregard for the lives of Nigerians” incompatible with his office.
“This tragedy was needless, foreseeable, and avoidable. The failures of the Ministry of the Interior and NIS to adequately manage the process and safeguard the safety and security of the job seekers is inexcusable.
“The deaths that resulted from these failures, therefore, were unlawful. If the lives of Nigerians mean anything, the leadership and management teams in the Ministry of the Interior and the NIS must be held to account for these deaths,” the petitioner said in their statement.
“The effort by the Minister responsible for citizenship in Nigeria to blame the victims rather than take responsibility shows a callous disregard for the lives of Nigerians incompatible with his high Ministerial brief. It brings public service into disrepute,” it added.
Among those who signed the statement were former Presidential candidate for the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Bashir Othman Tofa and the Chairman of National Human Rights Council, Chidi Odinkalu, Novelist Lola Shoneyin, Lawyer Ayo Obe and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yemi Candide-Johnson.
Others are: Ayesha Imam, Jibrin Ibrahim, Ishyaku Mohammed, Olusegun Adeniyi, Hussaini Abdu, Femi Edun, Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Kole Shettima, Maryam Uwais, Ebere Onwudiwe, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Yusuf Tuggar, Tajudeen Fola Adeola, Waziri Adio, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, Iniruo Wills, Yunusa Yau, Nasir Ladan, Jeremy Weate, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri of Spaces for Change and many others
Culled from Premium Times