The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday called for investigation into what it termed “needless deaths” of some job seekers at some venues of job test conducted by Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
At least 19 people were reported dead among over 500, 000 applicants that turned up at some centres of the test for the NIS jobs.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Lagos, described the incidence as a direct consequence of 15 years of misrule by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led federal government.
Information Nigeria reports that the ruling PDP has since called for investigations into the remote and immediate cause of the deaths.
Mohammed said the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, must bear direct responsibility for the needless deaths by immediately stepping down from his post or be fired.
APC said, however, that the overall responsibility was that of President Goodluck Jonathan, who, it alleged, was bent on leaving a dubious legacy of bad leadership that has led to a grim harvest of deaths from insecurity, widespread violence and now job stampede, among others.
The opposition party condoled with the families of the victims and wished those who were injured a speedy recovery.
”Despite huge yearly budgets rolled out since 1999, the PDP-led federal government has failed to create jobs for our teeming youth, and the number of those who are jobless has now reached such an alarming rate that a job emergency may have to be declared to avert an impending cataclysm”, the party said.
“Massive mindless looting of the public treasury has seen funds that could have been used to create millions of jobs end up in the deep pockets of corrupt government and PDP officials, without any consequence for the thieves, while the incompetent federal government led by a clueless President continues to deceive the public with cooked figures showing job creation where indeed there have been job losses.
“Today, sadly, the truth has been laid bare: 5,000 or so vacancies declared by NIS have attracted over six million applicants, from which over half a million was shortlisted, according to published reports, and the desperation of our youth to eke out a decent living has been exploited by a villainous government that forced each applicant to cough out 1,000 Naira, thus raking in 6 billion Naira from jobless people”, the party said.
It further said that the Ministry of Interior had many questions to answer over the apparently-shoddy arrangements made for the job tests in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.
“Is it true that the minister directly presided over the recruitment and money-making venture? Could this have been part of the government’s fund-raising measures for the 2015 elections? Why will a government seek to profit from a malaise it created by charging hapless job seekers 1,000 Naira each? Why was a huge number of applicants invited for only 5,000 jobs or less? Why was such a shoddy arrangement made for the test when so many people were invited? Could the test not have been done in batches to avoid a stampede? How much indeed was realized from this glaring extortion of job seekers? What happened to the money?”
These, APC said, are some of the questions begging for answers.
“An investigation into the needless deaths of our youth, under a government that has failed them in every respect, must seek to answer those questions and recommend ways to avoid a recurrence. At least if a government cannot create jobs, it must neither profit from its incompetence nor send the victims of its ineptitude to their early graves”, the party said.