Press release by the Movement for accountability and Good Governance on the NIS recruitment saga
March, 16th 2014
Yesterday, the 15th of March 2014, 520,000 (five hundred and twenty thousand) young people across the country were exposed under the sun for the whole of the day in the name of NIS recruitment exercise and treated like slaves, lesser human being and servants in their own nation.
About 20 young people lost their lives while over 70 other young people were in critical conditions resulting from a stampede caused by lack of proper planning, excessive crowd and a forceful attempt by security agents to disperse the young people with tear gas.
The Nigerian immigration Service announced that 8,500 (eight thousand five hundred) vacancies exist and invited over 40 million young Nigerians to apply. The NIS imposed application fees of #1,000 through its agency and over 520,000 young Nigerians paid and applied for the 8,500 slots available across the entire nation. This amounted to over 520 million naira.
This implies that an average of 230 slots only were available for each of the 36 states including the FCT. In the FCT, for instance, the NIH accepted applications and collected #1,000 each from over 60,000 young Nigerians to fill the only 230 available slots. This is not only irrational from such an agency, but wicked and senseless.
This led to the death of several young people and injuries to many across the country. To add insult to injury, the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, granted a live interview where he blamed the young people for their deaths and ordeal in the exercise. The minister said the young people were responsible for their deaths and injuries as they did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner during the exercise.
We consider this an insult to injury and a dance on the grave of the young people whose lives were lost by this irrational and senseless style of recruitment exercise that exploited the ordeal of unemployment among the young people to treat them like slaves and lesser beings in their own nation.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and other similar examination bodies hold similar or tougher exams with about a million young people or above at designated centers without stamped and casualties, but the Minister of interior blamed the young people for their lack of competency and planning.
You may recall that in sane nations like Latvia, a prime minister resigned after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in the capital that killed 54 people. Britain’s immigration minister resigned over the employment of a foreign cleaner who was considered an illegal immigrant.
In a similar manner, Libya’s interim Interior Minister, Fawzi Abdel-Al, resigned after increased criticism from the newly-elected Parliament in regards to his handling of the recent spate of attacks on Sufi religious sites by what appears to be hard-line Salafists. This is to mention just but a few.
In response to the callous and inhuman treatment meted on the Nigerian youths yesterday by the Nigerian Immigration service in the name of a recruitment exercise and the subsequent defense of the action by the Minister of Interior, Abba Maro, we demand the following:
1. That Mr. President sack the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mr. David Shikfu Parradang tomorrow, the 17th of March 2014, if he does not voluntarily resign tomorrow morning;
2. That Mr. President also sack the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro before the end of tomorrow, the 17th of March 2014, if he doesn’t put in his resignation voluntarily tomorrow morning;
3. That President Goodluck Jonathan apologize to Nigerian young people for allowing this inhumane treatment and assault on them under his leadership;
4. That President Goodluck Jonathan sympathize with the families of all those who lost their children in yesterdays saga and pay adequate compensation to their families. The government should also take responsibility of the medical bills of all those recuperating in hospitals.
We shall exercise patience till the end of tomorrow, the 17thof March 2014, for the president to act on our demands. If by the end of tomorrow, our demands are not met, we shall mobilize equal number of young people assaulted by this immigrations recruitment saga to begin a continuous mass protest in the Federal Capital Territory and all the states in Nigeria till our demands are met.
There is palpably tension and anger among the young people all over the country. The young people have had enough. We have been treated like slaves and servants in our own land. We have been treated with contempt and neglect in a nation we are supposed to be her pride. Today, we have decided to take the bull by the horn to confront our challenges.
We encourage all young people that were affected by this inhuman treatment to remain calm and keep mobilizing for an anticipated mass movement and uprising which will begin on Tuesday, the 18th of March 2014, if the Nigerian government fails again to heed to our demand.
Com Jasper Azuatalam
National president, Movement for Accountability and Good Governance
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