Saturday, July 26, 2008


A particular piece I read in one of the Nigerian daily newspapers really stunned and shocked me for not making the bold headlines:17 KILLED IN IMMIGRATION, PRISONS RECRUITMENT. It was very annoying to read such story in a not too alarming second or third page. Such human error that cost the lives of 17 job seeking Nigerians is catastrophic enough to make the front headlines. That Nigeria has degenerated to the level where her citizens cause a stampede to get conscripted is indeed food for thought! What could have driven these honorable men to this point of madness is a question only our top fat government officials can answer.Yours sincerely was once a part of these mad march to survival when I applied to join the SSS some years back. The arena for recruitment was so choked that one could hardly move around. It was only after a call on those above 30 years of age to leave for home that the place became tolerable for a while, yes it only lasted a while, as those that left soon started to emerge afterwards with some barbers receipt and some alterations on their birth certificates. In the midst of all these brouhaha, no provision was made for any medical emergency situation. I left the recruitment ground after a whole week of insanity coming out as the next guy that would have been recruited. With pain and and a hope for the future I had stumbled out of Abuja hoping and believing that such a mishap would never take place again in my country but of course I was wrong. Wrong because I either believed too much in the recruitment exercise which in itself is futility when you are bereft of a Godfather or the keepers of the system whom I taught would make better provision next time before they think of stirring the nest of unemployed Nigerians. Some of the simple questions we need to ask ourselves as regards this ugly developments are:

1. Who organized the recruitment and what was his estimated participants

2. How much was given for the recruitment exercise and for what reasons was it intended?

3. If so much was given, was it spent judiciously to tend to emergencies e.g. availability of ambulances and doctors ,nurses and other related services adequately paid for to tend to the needs of hungry and ignorant Nigerians (as it relates to their health status mind you the state of the economy promotes such ignorance).

4. Now that the victims are dead who stands liable to be sued or held responsible?

5. If a way of compensating victims is a job offer as shown by the governor of Enugu, why wasn’t the offer made before the accident? For it shows availability of jobs not only in Enugu but also in other states if the governors care to develop their civil service. But why wait for a disaster before such offer is made?

Guest writer: Feyi Shaba, Kwara State


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