By Femi Fani-Kayode
Whether anyone likes to accept it or not the bitter truth is that 80 per
cent of our GRADUATES are unemployed in Nigeria today whilst 51 per cent
of our PEOPLE are also unemployed. As a frightful and grave consequence
of these shocking statistics, which I happen to believe may well be a
world record in terms of unemployment, a terrible tragedy occured in
various cities in our country on 15th March, 2014.
On that day approximately 520,000 of our youths gathered together in
sports stadiums in various cities all over our country for an aptitude
test for just 4,556 jobs that were available in the Immigration Service.
These staggering numbers were given out by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs itself. 68,000 of those youths gathered at Abuja’s National
Stadium alone and sadly 10 of them were were crushed to death in a
stampede whilst looking for those jobs whilst many others were injured.
It did not stop there. Another 20,000 youths gathered in the stadium at
Port Harcourt, Rivers state for aptitude tests for the same 4,556 jobs
and there was another stampede there as well in which 4 of their
colleagues were killed and four more were so badly wounded that they
remain in a coma up until now.
Similar gatherings for the same Immigration aptitude test took place in
cities all over the country all for a shot at the same 4,556 jobs and
three young pregnant girls together with three male youths were killed
in a similar stampede at the stadium in Minna, Niger state. The deaths
of youths were also reported in stadiums in some of our other cities as
well including Benin and Kano.
The only crime that all these children that were either killed, maimed
or injured in these horrific stampedes in the stadiums of all these
cities like Abuja, Port Harcourt, Minna, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Benin and
elsewhere had committed was to try to get a job, to fight for a better
life for themselves and to try to secure their future. What a tragedy.
One day Nigerians will appreciate the importance of facts, figures and
statistics and the consequences of tolerating atrocious, lousy,
insensitive and unaccountable governments. They will also understand the
implications of having a government that has no qualms about taking
advantage of the pitiful plight of it’s own youths and citizens and
scamming them in the most obvious and shameful manner.
Why should anyone be surprised that 520,000 of our youths gathered in
stadiums all over the country on the 15th March 2014 just to apply for a
relatively tiny handful of jobs that are available in the Immigration
Service? This is so SIMPLY because there are NO jobs available for these
children in our country.
I repeat 80 per cent of our GRADUATES are unemployed and 51 per cent of
our PEOPLE are unemployed. Sadly these figures have been confirmed by
various international organisations even though the Nigerian Federal
Government often seeks to deny them. Given this deplorable state of
affairs why won’t our youths die and be killed or injured whilst looking
for the few jobs that are available? Why won’t they gather in stadiums
all over the country in their hundreds of thousands just to do an
aptitude test for a job in Immigration for which there are only 4,556
vacancies? Why should anyone be surprised by this madness and this
turmoil? Why should anyone be moved by this horrific carnage when it is
now a regular phenomenon in our country for children to be slaughtered.
If they are not butchered whilst at school by islamist fundamentalists
they are slaughtered whilst they are looking for jobs from a heartless
government which has effectively destroyed their future.
Yet look for jobs they must because these children and these youths are
desperate and they are suffering. To make matters worse they are also
being taken advantage of and scammed by their own government who are
desperate to extort money from them by all means available. If this were
not the case why would the Comptroller-General of Immigration and the
Minister of Internal Affairs order that each and every one of those
youths that flooded the stadiums in their hundreds of t