The Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, on Sunday apologised to Nigerians over the recent botched Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment.
He also asked families of the deceased and the injured applicants to forgive him.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that the March 15 recruitment claimed the lives of 16 applicants, with several others injured at the different venues.
Moro gave the apology when he fielded questions from newsmen in Abuja.
He said, “I want Nigerians to understand the motive and intention behind the entire process of an open and transparent exercise.
“This was the first of its kind in the ministry and it was intended primarily to give employment to Nigerians, irrespective of background and connections.’’
The minister added that the ministry planned to conduct an open recruitment in order not to be accused of job racketeering and to correct the mistakes made in the conduct of previous exercises.
Unfortunately, he noted, some applicants died, while several got injured in the process.
“Whatever outcome we got from this exercise, positive or negative, I am the minister and I take full responsibility for it,’’ Moro said.
He lamented the unfortunate deaths which resulted from the exercise, asking for forgiveness and understanding from families of the deceased.
“The deaths of these young Nigerians, who would have added value to the human resource of the country, is highly regrettable.
“I crave the highest level of understanding of every Nigerian. If we had foreseen these deaths, we would have stopped the exercise,” he added.
The minister explained that after the botched exercise of 2012, intense preparations for a successful exercise in 2014 commenced.
He said that the recruitment board of the ministry met many times and decisions about the procedures for conducting the exercise were taken.