At least seven people died on Saturday after hundreds of thousands of unemployed Nigerians rushed into the national stadium in the capital city of Abuja to apply for fewer than 5,000 government positions.
“The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid-down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise,” said Abba Moro, Nigeria’s interior minister. “Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centers and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one."
Moro’s comments sparked outrage in the country and people took to social media to demand his resignation.
Officials and activists say the stampede was inevitable, as only one entrance to the stadium was open. The minister is also accused of letting in more applicants than the maximum capacity of 60,000 that the stadium could accommodate.
Applicants said they had to pay 1,000 naira (about $6 in American currency) to take the recruitment test. Despite the incident, Moro said the fee would not be refunded.