Abba Moro, Nigeria’s former Minister of Interior, says he doesn’t think the tragedy that took place during a recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2014, would affect his political ambition.
In March 2014, job seekers died during a series of tragic incidents that occurred in various centres across the country, when millions of applicants converged at various venues for the recruitment test.
Hundreds sustained injuries, while those that fainted were not left out. Each applicant paid N1,000.
Moro is currently seeking a seat in the National Assembly as the senatorial candidate for Benue South on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking in an interview with The Punch newspaper, published on Tuesday, Moro said he was contesting the seat to ensure the creation of employment opportunities for the youth, as well as to bring development to his district.
Speaking on the 2014 tragedy, he said: “The Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment misadventure was actually a low point in my burgeoning career.
“I feel very sad each time I think about it because it involved the loss of innocent lives. It clearly showed people were not doing their part in an otherwise patriotic exercise. I don’t think it would negatively affect my chances in 2019 general elections.”
On how he hopes to take over from Senator David Mark, who has represented the district for 20 years, he added: “I have said it before that Senator David Mark is leaving big shoes in vacating the Benue South Senatorial District. He has made a giant stride. Now that he is leaving the stage, someone must step in to take his place which is the reason why I came into the race.
“I have followed Senator Mark to many places, I have been his director general twice and also his lieutenant, so I know the direction he wants to take the Idoma people to. Some of those coming into the race don’t know the aspirations of the people. They don’t know where to start.
“My focus will be to essentially to create jobs for the youth that have finished school and haven’t got jobs. I will leverage my goodwill to ensure the development of our people. Some of our roads are death traps. We have the problem of potable water. All these will be my focus. I will create an enabling environment to provide a good education for my people because knowledge is power.”