Fatal NIS recruitment exercise: Tears as victims buried in Port Harcourt
It was uncontrollable emotions and tears as one of the victims of Port Harcourt Immigration stampede Mr. Kalu Sunday Okezie, was buried yesterday in his home town, Okon-Aku Community in Ohafia Local Government of Abia State.
Sunday, 30, was among the five applicants that died during the nationwide Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise in Elekahia Stadium, Port Harcourt Rivers State capital.
Five victims were confirmed dead in Port Harcourt during the stampede. They include Grace Nwokaku Amah 28 years, from Ubima Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Kalu Sunday Okezie, 30 years from Okon-aku Community in Ohafia, Brown Darlington, 25 years from Opobo-Nkoro Local Government of Rivers State and two others whose names are yet to be identify by the this reporter.
The remains of late Sunday who was the last son of the family of three left Port Harcourt, Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) by 6am and was received by his parent, relatives youths of Okon-Aku Community in Ohafia by 12pm.
The bereaved parents, Mr& Mrs Okezie Kalu who were weeping when The Nation visited their family house during the funeral of their son said they are highly disappointed with the organizers of the shoddy Immigration recruitment.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr. Kalu, the father of the decease, a security guard with Abia State Primary School Board accused the organisers of the failed Immigration recruitment of playing politics with human life, which he noted made them to have no regard for human life.
The 55-year- old Kalu said the issue could have been a double tragedy in his family as his wife collapsed and was hospitalized after hearing the news of the death of his son. He added that since them his wife is yet to recover from the shock
Mr. Kalu said: “God knows why it happened this way, but I am not happy with those who organised the recruitment; their attitude shows that they don’t have regard for human life. Instead of me to enjoy the fruit of my labour, what I saw was dead body; those who organize the recruitment are wicked and heartless.
“The painful part of the death of my son is that I suffered as security man to train him from primary school to University level and now that I am anxiously waiting the day I will eat the fruit of my labour everything has turned upside down.”
He said it is unfortunate that he buried his son instead of the other way round, but noted that he has lost hope in anything that has to do with Federal government, “ Don’t believe the Federal government anymore even as they said they will compensate us with job, it is just a dream I don’t believe them.
Mother of the deceased, Mrs. Justina Okezie Kalu said her late son visited her on the night before the ill recruitment to inform her about the exercise.
“He came to me that Friday night in Port Harcourt before the recruitment to inform about it. I was surprise when I got message that my own son was among those who died, and it was the only thing I could remember, because I was unconscious for days.
Some of the chiefs and elders of the community who spoke to our reporters expressed dissatisfaction with the setting up of new committee for immigration recruitment when those who died on the last recruitment exercise are still fresh in the memory of the bereaved families.
Chief Joseph Madueme said: “Nobody is stopping the Federal government from setting up a new committee to organise a fresh recruitment. But all my people are saying is that it is bad to do that now when those who died on the last recruitment exercise are yet to be buried.
Chief Lucky Chukwuma another elderly man in the community said, “The Federal government is not serious, look we don’t expect any recruitment now untill after one year. This is to respect those applicants who sacrifice their lives because of this job. Any further recruitment this moment is tantamount to betrayal.
However, the late Sunday studied Micro Biology at the Ebonyi State University and concluded his one year compulsory National Youth Service Scheme in Oyo State in 2010.