Edo Guber: Waec Relocates Candidates To Delta, Ondo
SAN FRANCISCO, September 07, (THEWILL) – The West African Examination Council, WAEC, on Tuesday explained that it has secured examination centres in Agbor, Delta state and Ore in Ondo state for candidates writing the General Certificate Examination, GCE, on Saturday, September 10 in Edo state.
This is as the Edo state governorship election is expected to hold on the same 7day secondary schools students in the state are expected to sit for their mathematics paper.
The Head, Public Affairs for WAEC Nigeria, Demianus Ojijeogu, who spoke with The Nation in Abuja on Tuesday, said the council would go ahead with the examination on that day.
He also stated that WAEC would not be responsible for the relocation of the candidates to the two states, adding that the council is hoping the state government would assist with the relocation of the candidates.
Ojijeogu added that WAEC officials would be on ground to conduct the examination for candidates who would be at the venue of the examination.
“We went to Agbor, we have already secured venue. We went to Ore in Ondo state to secure exam centres for them. So that is where we are. Yes we have. Agbor in Delta state and Ore in Ondo state. We have secured centres already.
“No. It's our belief that the Edo State Government being the guardian of the candidates can make such an arrangement & also provide security for them.
“If push comes to show, we will go and wait for them. Our exam officials will be in Ore in Ondo and Agbor in Delta state in the centres designated for that exams on that day. Those that come we will conduct exams for them but we still believe that something is going to happen between now and tomorrow,” he said in a text message sent to the newspaper.
Ojijeogu explained that WAEC wrote a letter to INEC to allow the candidates and WAEC officials free movement on the day of the examination after proper accreditation.
According to him, the request was turned down for security reasons, adding that the police insisted on restriction of movement on that day.
He said: “We wrote to INEC headquarters in Abuja and copied the state INEC in Edo state, copied the commissioner of police alerting them that our mathematics paper is clashing with the election.
“Our view was that they should exempt our examination officials who will be properly accredited and candidates who will also be identified, they should grant them exemption from the restriction of government on that day so that they can write the paper because the subject is a core subject. It is mathematics.
“The next thing we got a reply from INEC and even the commissioner of police inviting us for a meeting in Benin City. That was on august 25th. I was at the meeting and then when we got to the meeting we discovered that they had already met on the level of inter-agency consultative committee on election in edo state and trashed our issue that WAEC should relocate the candidates to states that is closer to Edo state.
“We told them that this thing is not workable. Because one, research has shown that when you move candidates from where they have prepared for exams to another state or where they have been writing exams to another location if affects them psychologically.
“On Wednesday, on the 29th of august we got a letter INEC sent to us saying that the commission in liaison with the security operating in Edo state after our joint meeting with officials of the organization advised WAEC to relocate the candidates to any state that are… to Edo state. This position is borne out of the fact that movement of every Nigerian living in edo state will be restricted on the election Day and such security arrangement cannot be compromised.
They said that they cannot grant our request for the exemption of examination functionaries and candidates from any movement on the day of the election so we were left with nothing. There is nothing else to do. The exam must be conducted. It is an international exam in the sense that the paper will be written in the Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, as well as in Nigeria at the same time.
“We have one other thing to do since they don't want a gathering on the election day because they said it will compromise election security for the sake of these children let us move these centres to neighbouring states- delta, and Ondo.
“We are also pleading with the government. We are expecting that the government can shift ground and say okay, since there will be free movement on that day for eligible voters that the candidates can also be allowed to go and write the exam as long as they are properly identified. We are still expecting that to happen.”