Five weeks after the tragic stampede which claimed the lives of over 20 Nigerian youths at the botched, recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the minister of Interior, Abba Moro, has tendered an unreserved apology to bereaved families, injured victims and Nigerians in general.
The minister also said that his statement of impatience on the part of applicants was taken out of context, and that he took sole responsibility over the regrettable incident.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Moro said his continued stay in office will help in the investigation of what actually happened during the recruitment execise, asserting that he was on the right path until the circumstances in some centres led to the deaths of the applicants.
He, however, berated the comptroller-general of Immigration, Mr. David Paradang, and the board for dissociating themselves from the planning processes that led to the failed exercise, and the claim by Paradang that he learnt of the exercise 48 hours to the aptitude test.
Moro said, "I'm shocked and speechless at his claims. I do not understand why anyone would want to betray his boss's transparency. Surprisingly, this denial is coming after the board met several times to approve the ministry's tender."
"I amaware that the same persons who are feigning ignorance of the arrangements for the electronic exercise which followed recommendations by the steering committee for which he is a member, addressed a press conference on Thursday, March 6, 2014, where he personally announced the March 15, 2014 approved exam date. They are tapes and voices to that effect."
He offered an apology and sought forgiveness from Nigerians over the incident.
"As a minister under whose purview the ugly incidence occurred, I earnestly regret and beg to be forgiven. My heart goes to various families and to the average Nigerian. As I father, I feel so sad. I would have reversed it if it were possible."
Meanwhile, when contacted, the image maker of the Immigration Service, Mr. Chukwuemeka Obua, challenged the minister to show documentary evidence where his boss, Paradang, or the board attended his meetings.