A recruitment test conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service turned tragic following stampedes in various stadia across the country. 19 perished! Scores injured! Hundreds of thousands remain unemployed.
This blog digitally immortalizes the victims, demands justice for the wounded and provokes a collective reminiscence of the social and economic injustices that should NEVER happen AGAIN!
What happened in your examination center? SHARE YOUR STORIES....
Patience Nonye, Lagos Stadium
It was a dog eat dog experience
I applied for Nigerian Immigration
Service (NIS) on 18th of October 2013, I bought the form from UBA bank after I
got the information from my elder brother and encouragement from him to try my
luck because I have been unemployed for 5years.
I purchased the form and applied on
the stated date waited for about 5months before I got a text message on my
phone on the 13th of March 2014 as follows:
“Exam into Nigeria Immigration service holds
Saturday March 15th 2014 at 7am in your preferred exam state. Contact your state
commend for more info”.
Excited and with full of hope I
woke up by 5:00am on Saturday 15th of March for the exam. I got to the national stadium by 6:20am and
was shocked by the number of people I met at that hour who has also come to
write the same examination.
I quickly joined the crowd and I
was told to go and buy my white and white sport wear, which NIS officials were
selling for N5,500 (short – N1,000, Top – N2,000 and canvass – N2,500). I
declined to buy and rather entered a bike from the stadium to my pastor’s house
which cost about N500 thru and fro and collected the white polo, white short
with white canvass.
Starting 7am up to about 2:45pm, I
waited together with thousands of other job seekers, including pregnant women, outside
the main bowl of the national stadium under heat of the scorching sun without
no direction, information or assistance by anybody from the NIS or the stadium
management. It was about 3 0’clock that one of the entrance to the national
stadium was opened which triggered a violent rush and stampede as everyone
wanted to enter the mainbowl at once after waiting for such a long time under
I heard one of the immigration
officers telling the young men that only 500 slots were allocated to Lagos State
and 200 slots have been given to senators and “oga’s at the top”. That was when
the real rush began as people started clamping the gates of the only open entrance
gate and other entrance points into the mainbowl to take a chance at the
remaining 300 slots.
I was shocked to see the officials of
the NIS Immigration already waiting for us inside the mainbowl of the stadium with
the question papers. I think they were overwhelmed by the number of people that
came and they didn’t have a proper arrangement with the stadium managers. At
about 3:45pm they started distributing the question papers in an odd way: they
were throwing the question up, flinging it upward for the fastest or strongest
saw people fall to the floor. I saw women hacked and shuffled roughly and
rudely by the men. It was dog eat dog experience. I have never experienced such
thing in my life; it was an eye sour the immigration officials were very rude
and insulting threatening everyone as if they own the ministry. I finished
answering the 30-nos objective questions at about 5pm only for us to hear at
the point of submission that Lagos center have been cancelled.
our very eyes, we saw our question papers torn by the immigration officials on
duty while our acknowledgement slips were destroyed by this inhuman fellows,
after waiting for about 11hrs under the sun, and after all the insults and very
inhuman treatement meted on us. It was so painful that at the end of the day,
all our efforts were ridiculed by fellow Nigerians who at one time yesterday
were unemployed. This act created another reaction of “aluta” and protests by
angery applicants. We hid ourselves inside the stadium till about 7pm before I
could safely leave the place.
am an unemployed Nigerian youth that graduated in the year 2010, from the
University of Jos and completed my National Youth Service Corps in Lapai, Niger
State, and since then, I have been making several efforts to get a job without
became aware of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) vacancy notice in
October last year, and applied on October 4, 2013. I filled the form online, printed a slip which
I took to the slip to Diamond Bank, Ahmadu Bello to pay N1,000 and I was given
a printed slip there also.
months later, I got a text on the 13th of March 2014 notifying me of a
recruitment examination without a center sent to me. I only learned of the
center from friends after much inquiries. On the examination day, I left home
some minutes pass 7 o’clock in the morning, but to my surprise, couldn't due to
traffic holdup caused by the crowd who were heading to the center of the exam
(Command Secondary School, Zaria). The holdup stretched up to Tomatoes Market
Farin Gada (A distance of 20 minute walk from the center).
were being pushed and there was traffic standstill. The closest I could get to was
near the school gate. Everywhere was choked up. A lady got trampled upon and I
later heard she died. We were there for several hours not knowing what to do until
10 a.m unti it was suggested that the adjacent school, Federal Government
College, Jos be also used as an alternate center to ease the crowd.
recruitment exercise started with the stamping and screening the credentials of
applicants, where they indicated the post they applied for and presented their academic
and birth certificates. That lasted for about four hours. After that, we were
told to go sit on open field, under the scorching sun in expectation of the
exam question papers .That lasted for like an hour or so too. Abba Moro, the minister
for interior was there, but never addressed us as we anticipated. He only spoke
to some NIS officers around and left. The question papers finally came about
some minutes to five o’clock in the evening. And it was for just THIRTY
minutes. WE left the exam ground some minutes to six o’clock in the evening.
Ilesanmi Olumide Heritage - Liberty Stadium Ibadan
There was discrimination between holders of BSC and other
in Ibadan, we did not have much casualty like other states. In the morning,
when we got to the venue, thousands of applicants were standing at the Liberty
Stadium waiting for immigration officials to arrive. When they arrived, they
instructed everybody to come closer to be updated on some vital information. After
that, they started the accreditation of the BSC applicants. The accreditation
was so very slow that the applicants got furious and they forced their way into
Bsc holders first arranged themselves under the stadium-covered tent, but the
tent was unable to occupy them all. Some of them had to stay under the sun.
of HND, NDE, NCE, Diploma and O-level certificates were all kept in the sun for
more than 6 hours. The unfortunate thing is that after the BSC holders finished
their own exam, followed by NCE and diploma and O-levels, some of the NCE and
diploma certificate holders were unable to get question papers because of the
unavailability and insufficiency of the question papers. This caused many applicants
to stay even longer.
was not until 5.00p.m. that they brought the photocopied question papers which
was done in the stadium premises. I saw about three ladies that fainted and
they were immediately taken somewhere to be resuscitated.