21 March 2014

Nigeria: Six Days After Immigration Tragedy, Dead Victim Yet to Be Identified

One of the dead victims of Saturday's recruitment tragedy is yet to be identified, and her corpse yet to be claimed, the Niger State Government has said.

About 20 people died nationwide in stampedes that occurred at various venues during the recruitment exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.

The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Ndako Kpaki, spoke of the unclaimed corpse on Thursday in Minna during the visit of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Asabe Ahmed.

It is not clear why the corpse is yet to be identified; as the applicants, apart from paying the mandatory N1,000, also filled online forms that required them to attach their passport photographs.

The NIS has, however, said some of the people that attended the recruitment test were not invited.

"We expected 7,000 applicants but 12,000 turned up and we tried to manage them," Ezekiel Kaura, the Comptroller of Immigration in Niger, said during the minister's visit.

Mr. Kaura, who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, Dauda Kolo, said the stampede at the Niger recruitment venue was the result of unprecedented number of applicants trying to get to the venue of the examination at the same time.

The visiting minister was also told that 13 survivors of the stampede had been discharged from the hospital.

Ms. Ahmed, who was at the General Hospital, Minna, later visited the family of late Nafiu Mohammed, one of the victims, and Blessing Bako, one of the 14 injured applicants.

She donated an undisclosed amount of money to Ms. Bako.

She explained that she was in Minna to commiserate with the State Government and people over the death of job seekers in the area.

"Very soon, government will come up with more measures to tackle unemployment in the country," she said.

Ms. Ahmed, who did not give details of such measures, however, described unemployment as a global phenomenon.

The minister said government had set up a committee to unravel the cause of the unfortunate incident across the country and recommend ways of avoiding further occurrence.

Responding, the uncle to late Mr. Mohammed, Inuwa Abdalla, described the deceased as an ambitious and hardworking person.

Mr. Abdalla said the family had accepted the death in good faith, adding that the tragedy was the will of God.

He promised that the family would cooperate with the government on the employment offered to three members of the family.


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