The Federal Government is making plans to set up a panel to probe the death of no fewer than 19
applicants at the immigration recruitment centers.
The Minister of Interior Abba Moro, stated this on Sunday at the National Hospital in Abuja when he visited the injured victims of the recruitment exercise.
Moro expressed sadness over the incident and confirmed that 19 people had been discharged. Eleven others were receiving treatment.
He also ordered the immediate release of the bodies to their relations after proper documentation.
Moro said: ?So far, 11 persons are still on admission. Most of them have recovered from the shock of yesterday and they are in a very stable condition. And five female and two males are dead. I have promised that the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) will do everything possible to ameliorate the consequences of the stampede.
I think it is premature to talk about employment.
?I have seen the situation and it is unfortunate. If you look at it, you will see that it was all a sign that people attempted to break into the stadium by force and in the process people were trampled upon and unfortunately they lost their lives.
?Just like it is in other part of the country, the reason for the decentralisation of the exercise across the states was to ensure that we have reasonable numbers in all the centres that can be controlled. But unfortunately, the preliminary information that is available to me shows that people who didn?t apply were also trying to gain entrance. In a stadium like this, that has the capacity of 70,000 people and we had registered people. But unfortunately several unauthorised persons came in here especially pregnant women. In a paramilitary situation I am surprised that pregnant women would want to come and partake in what involves physical exercises.
?This is not a moment to apportion blames, this is a moment of some level of national tragedy. It calls for some level of understanding among Nigerians and to know that our intention was to transparently conduct this exercise to ensure that we provide a level-playing ground for all Nigerians. The choice of the stadium is to take as many as possible eligible for the test.
?The committee will look at everything that is necessary to be done in this circumstance. It is the committee that will be set up later today or first thing Monday that will include all stakeholders and non governmental organisations.
I can assure you that they will be given sufficient leverage to examine all the issues connected to this exercise with a view to coming up with observations and recommendations that will help to ameliorate the situation.
?Our consideration now is for those people who are still in the hospital and those dead. It is the committee that will tell us if to suspend or carry on with the exercise. I can assure you that when the findings are out, we will take the right decision that will satisfy the aspirations of Nigerians. We have undertake to provide ambulance as a priminary safeguard to assist the families to convey those bodies down to their destinations. We have asked that records of parents, who are going to take the bodies home should be compiled so that subsequently, we can reach out to the families of those who lost their lives.?