March 15, 2014, will forever remain indelible in the minds of Nigerians as the date the Nigeria Immigration Service conducted the infamous recruitment which resulted in the death of 19 Nigerian youths while several others were seriously injured.
It is very disheartening and regrettable that despite the payment of N1,000 from about 520,000 applicants who applied for the job last year, there was a shoddy preparation for the exercise.
Meanwhile, in a desperate move to placate the affected victims, the Federal Government promised each family of the dead victims three automatic jobs. A year after, the promise has yet to be fulfilled.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, seven months after the tragic incident, there was a protest march in Benin City against the unfulfilled presidential promise while one of the victims, Mr Timothy Omoagbon, said since the death of his wife, life had been unbearable.
Also, four of the affected victims, Patience Omezie, Kasim Suleiman, Okojie Arabamen and Godwin Morka, have jointly filled a suit against the Interior Minister, Mr Abba Moro, who was said to have solely supervised the botched recruitment. Among their prayers is a declaration by the court that Moro is unfit and improper to hold public office in Nigeria with regard to his statement that Nigerians who died and those injured during the exercise were "careless".
However, promise of employment ought not to be as a result of loss of lives while the welfare of the citizenry, in the legible stipulation of the constitution, still remains the primary responsibility of any government.
Incidentally, the Nigerian Immigration Service has rolled out another recruitment to be assisted by a presidential committee in the recruitment process but the question is, "How fully prepared is the coordinating body in order to avert another loss of lives on the part of the applicants?"
Meanwhile, there is no gainsaying that the future of Nigerian youths is not guaranteed by the government's inability to provide jobs, security and welfare of the youths. With the recorded number of 520,000 applicants at the last exercise, it is a clear sign that government needs to take pivotal steps towards reducing the level of unemployment in the country to the barest minimum and to also conduct more empowerment programmes for the less privileged youths who don't have access to further education.
However, employment which should be based on merit has been marred by political influence, connection and Godfatherism. In order not to experience another bloodshed in forthcoming recruitment, the concerned body should make adequate preparation, put all logistics in order, get to the interview centres on time and provide convivial atmosphere for the applicants to take interview exams instead of placing them under the hot sun. **deggy4uall#greatest**
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