Following a stampede which killed sixteen applicants at the various venues of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment last weekend, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday queried the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and the Comptroller-General of NIS, David Parradang, over the tragedy.
This is even as the wife of the Senate President, Helen Onma Mark, yesterday denied owning the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm which handled the application exercise of the NIS.
Moro and Parradang were earlier yesterday summoned to the Presidential Villa by Jonathan to explain the circumstances which led to the stampede at the National Stadium, following which sixteen applicants died in an exercise which should have been carried out smoothly but turned tragic.
Our source revealed that the interior minister and the Immigration Comptroller General spent over three hours with the President in his office at the Presidential Villa, during which they were grilled over the tragedy.
Though what transpired between the duo and Jonathan was not disclosed, our source said Moro and Parradang wore long faces when they emerged from Jonathan’s office and kept mum despite probing by journalists.
It was learnt that the president expressed displeasure over the way the exercise, which should have been orderly, turned bloody.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, has expressed sadness over the death of young Nigerians seeking employment during the stampede at the recruitment exercise by NIS at the National Stadium, Abuja as well as in Benin and Minna.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, George Udoh, Moro commiserated with the bereaved families in particular and Nigerians as a whole, describing the incident as a national tragedy.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiya, the Senate President’s wife, Helen Mark, described reports linking her to the stampede at the National Stadium as “wicked lie”.
While expressing shock at the reports, she said the rumour is a mere fabrication of the imagination of those behind it.
According to her, “It is very strange to me because I do not know the consultant that organized the recruitment exercise, neither did I play any role in the recruitment exercise. I have no relationship of any sorts and in whatever form with the said consultant”.
Mark who pointed out that the moment demands solemnity and mourning of the precious souls that were lost in the tragic incidents that occurred last Saturday, warned that it is not a time to settle political scores.
“I will therefore leave those dragging my name into this painful death of our youths to their consciences and unto God. As a mother, I honestly sympathies with the parents of these youths as well as the nation in general over the loss of our children,” she said.