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Nigerians job stampedes: 1 entrance for 65,000 people ends in fatal job stampede

Nigerians job stampedes have killed 16 people. On Sunday, half a million Nigerian men and women tried to apply for 4,556 jobs offered by the government's immigration department. One of five Nigerian job stampedes, which occurred at the Abuja National Stadium in the Nigerian capital Abuja, involved 65,000 job applicants, but the stadium has only one entrance. According to a March 16, 2014, The Guardian report, Nigeria’s Interior Minister Abba Moro said after the fatal stampede that the young people "lost their lives through their impatience" because they did not conduct themselves “orderly” when they jumped through the fences to get into the stadium to take their job recruitment test.

Fatal stampede
Photo: Premium Times

In contrast to Moro’s statement, the Education Rights Campaign is saying that inviting 65,000 people into the Abuja National Stadium which has only one entrance and is designed to hold 60,000 people, was negligent.

The Nigerians job stampede at the Abuja National Stadium took the lives of seven people. In four other locations including Minna, Port Harcourt, Dutse and Benin City, at least nine other people died.

Even though Nigeria has Africa's second biggest economy with oil filling the pockets of the rich, the country’s unemployment rate is at 24 percent, which leaves 41 million out of 170 million without a job. The unemployment rate for young people under the age of 24 is estimated to be at 38 percent. When the Nigerian government offered 4,556 jobs for the immigration department, half a million people applied.

Following the Nigerians job stampedes, Olisa Metuh, spokesman of Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic party, commented that “we are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the untimely death of the young citizens who were at the exercise not only to secure jobs but to be allowed the opportunity to contribute towards the development of the nation." Education Rights Campaign activists are saying that the government should refund the $3 million it collected from the desperate job applicants and fire Nigeria’s Interior Minister Abba Moro.

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