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Sporadic shooting mars Immigration recruitment exercise in Ogun

Applicants lament the disorganisation of the exercise.

The recruitment exercise by the Ogun State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, took a dangerous dimension on Saturday when security officials, in trying to control the crowd, shot sporadically in the air.

Security officials also allegedly used horsewhips on the thousands of youths gathered at the Mudashiru Lawal Stadium, Asero, Abeokuta, venue of the recruitment exercise.

At least four people reportedly collapsed due to over-crowding at the stadium.

The event, which was slated for 9 a.m did not commence till around 3:30 p.m, by which time a large number of the applicants, frustrated, had already left for home.

Some of the applicants, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, attributed the poor arrangement to lip service by the NIS officials at the venue.

They further alleged  that some top officials of the establishment encouraged their “personal candidates” to jump the queue, a development which resulted in rowdiness. It was at this stage that confusion set in and the security officials started to shoot sporadically.

“Those of us trying to  protest the injustice became victims of horsewhipping, like criminals. At least four women  fainted and yet nothing was done by the officials,” an applicant complained.

Another applicant lamented, “The process is an embarrassment to the NIS, considered to be among the disciplined services in the country. What we are witnessing today is a sham and a shame.”

The NIS spokesman in the state, Felix Kuti, noted that the use of firearms became necessary in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

“They were getting unmanageable and you know this venue, with lots of cars and property. If they were not scared away by that shooting, they were ready to be violent as they had began throwing stones at the screening points,” he explained.

Mr. Kuti said the applicants that caused confusion were those rejected at one of the three points, but had refused to leave the premises. He also noted that there was no official complaint of fainting by anyone.

The nationwide recruitment exercise featured similar stories at the different venues across Nigeria.

Seven candidates were confirmed dead in Abuja and two in Minna, and four in Port Harcourt.

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