by ‘Jola Sotubo
Families and friends of the job seekers who perished during the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise on Saturday are still counting their losses.
The fortunate people who survived the experience will obviously never forget it and one woman has blamed the incident on soldiers who told some of the applicants to squat.
Blessing Uzor, a survivor who is currently recuperating at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital in Port Harcourt, Rivers, said:
“The only thing I can remember now is when soldiers who were assisting the Immigration officers ordered some of us to squat and while we were doing that many candidates were standing at our back.
“Five minutes later, the crowd fell on us. I regained consciousness at 4:45 am on Sunday. I began to ask for my bag and the other writing materials I took to the recruitment centre. I thank God that I can talk now.”
Another survivor, Chinemen Isaac,who is on admission at the Glory Hospital Ogbunabali, also in Port Harcourt, said:
“I didn’t know when they fell on me. I was squatting as directed because they were sharing question papers.
“Some people started pushing to make way for themselves. That was how they fell on top of one another. About 15 persons fell on me.
Reports have it that 19 people died around the country but the NIS has said that the actual number of casualties is 16.