Immediate statistics of victims were unavailable
Thousands of job applicants were trapped in stampedes Saturday at different venues for the Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment test in Kano, Benue and Gombe States.
There were no immediate statistics of deaths or of those hospitalised.
No fewer than 15,000 people participated in the recruitment exercise in Kano State.
The NIS Comptroller in the state, Zitas Nanpon, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Saturday.
The screening and examination took place at the Sani Abacha Stadium, located in Kofar Mata in Kano metropolis.
“Right now not less than 15, 000 applicants are on ground and more are still coming into the venue. The standard is that everybody that has an acknowledgement slip is eligible for this exercise,’’ he said.
Mr. Nanpon, however, commended the state government for providing the venue which had enough space to accommodate all the candidates.
He assured the applicants that the examination would be conducted after the screening, and advised all the applicants to be patient and orderly to ensure that the exercise was hitch-free.
In Benue no fewer than 17, 800 applicants took part in the exercise at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.
The Public Relations Officer of the service in Benue, Tersoo Ukeyima, told NAN in Makurdi that the NIS was overwhelmed by the number of applicants and did its best to accommodate them.
Mr. Ukeyima said there were challenges in crowd management, but commended officers for discharging their duties in controlling the crowd.
He said no casualties were recorded and assured that the First Aid Department of the command was on hand to tackle any eventuality.
Some of the applicants, who spoke to NAN, commended the officers for the orderly conduct of the exercise, saying they were satisfied.
Richard Joseph, Mzungwega Terfa and Cecelia Adole from Gwer Logo and Otukpo local Governments said they were pleased with the arrangements for the examinations.
Some, however, expressed fears that the exercise might not be completed on schedule owing to the crowd.
In Gombe, 5,000 candidates from Gombe and Borno took part in the exercise at Abubakar Umar Memorial Stadium, Gombe.
NAN learnt that applicants from Borno were deployed to Gombe as a result of the security challenge in that state.
The NIS Comptroller in Gombe, Y. G Emmanuel, said: “as you can see the exercise is going on and we have been here since 3 a.m. to ensure everything is in order for a smooth exercise.’’