Immigration Service Aptitude Test Tragedy: Making Wrongs Right By Avwenagha Edesiri
I have often told my friends that you are able to control the action and reactions of people when you are able to either predict or figure out what they always think about. In a political terrain of ours, with the coming of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the scrutiny of the ruling party – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – has been intensified. So, one would expect that any member of PDP, at every given point in time, would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that every possible scrutiny and loopholes from the opposition is properly blocked. But, this has not always been the case, as some members of the party are unable to appropriately condone themselves in the public view.
This leads us to the latest issue that the opposition has seized upon to further batter the already tarnished image of the ruling PDP, the recent comments made by the Minister of Interior Comrade Abba Moro with regard to the various cases of deaths recorded in last Saturday’s Nigerian Immigration Service Test. It is obviously clear now that some great citizens of this country died on that faithful day as a result of stampede; but, instead of mourning the dead and sympathizing with the families of those who died, the Minister said:
“The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise. Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one. This caused stampede and made the environment unsecured.”
Why would the minister make the above statement? Let us assume the minister was saying the truth, was that the best speech to give at this point in time when human lives were lost? Would there not have been another avenue for the minister to properly explain what went wrong and what led to the death of our fellow citizens? Does it mean that the minister does not have regard for the life of the average Nigerian? These are questions begging to be answered. However, let us take a look at how the Senate President David Mark reacted to this same issue. The Senate President condoled with the families of those who lost their lives at the recruitment exercise of the Nigerian Immigration Service and described their death as tragic. He also commiserated with the families of those who died and prayed that God will grant them fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. In similar manner, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, condoled with the families of those who lost their lives, and prayed for the quick recovery of those injured. He said that the death of the innocent youths was sorrowful and regrettable. And he urged the authorities concerned to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the tragedy, and advised them to map out strategies to prevent future occurrence. Imagine the Minister of Interior had said something like this: I condole with the families of those who lost their lives during the Immigration Aptitude Test on Saturday, I am deeply sorry for loss; the ministry will immediately commence an investigation to determine the cause of their deaths, and I will make public the outcome of the investigation. I wonder if this issue will be attracting lots of attention to warrant the call for the Minister to be relieved of his duties. My candid advise to the minister is that he should be rational at all times, and never attempt to grant a press conference when he has not fully vetted what he intends to say. In a country like ours where every word spoken out is scrutinized, the minister should borrow a leaf from the Senate President and the House of Representative chairman in the way they responded to the issue. My candid observation of this beloved country of ours is that people are more likely to interpret the perception we give to issues as opposed to the issues themselves. In other words, people are more interested in the ‘Phenomena’ as opposed to the ‘Noumena’. It is my hope that the Minister of Interior will come out to apologize for his earlier statement and make a proper statement, knowing full well that human lives were lost
(c) Avwenagha Edesiri
Follow on twitter: @avwens
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to email@example.com