The West African Examination Council, WAEC, says the council is not to be blamed for the decision to relocate candidates to neighboring states but the Independent Electoral Commission. INEC for denying WAEC the approval to conduct its scheduled examination on the Edo state governorship election day which is slated for 10th of September. According to the head public Affairs WAEC, Damian Ojijeogu, the council had requested that its staff and candidates for Mathematics be exempted from any restriction of movement as a result of the election but was denied their request. He said INEC advised the council to relocate candidates to Ondo and Delta States for the sitting of Mathematics paper 1 and 2 which coincided with the election. Find below a copy of the letter to INEC and minutes of Stakeholder’s meeting on the development.
STAKEHOLDERS MEETING ON THE CLASH IN THE SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 DATE FOR EDO STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION WITH THE WRITING OF WASSCE MATHEMATICS I&2 HELD ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 2016 IN THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, Abuja
Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 5
Commissioner of Police, Edo State
Commissioner of Police, Mobile Unit, Edo State
State Director, Department of Security Services
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Edo State
State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps
Head, Test Development Division, WAEC Lagos
Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Benin City
Head, Public Affairs, WAEC Lagos
The Council observed that the date (September 10, 2016) scheduled for Mathematics 2 & 1 coincided with the date for Edo State governorship election. It formally wrote to the Chairman, Independent Electoral Commission, Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Inspector General of Police and the Edo State Government requesting for the exemption of examination officials and candidates from any restriction of movement as a result of the Edo State governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016.
The letters were written and delivered on Thursday, August 11, 2016.
In response to the letters, the Council was invited to a meeting in two separate letters by the Commissioner of Police, Edo State and the Independent National Electoral Commission, Edo State with the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Edo State on Thursday, August 25, 2015. The Management of Council dispatched the Head, Test Development and the Head, Public Affairs to Benin City to join the Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Benin for the meeting.
3. FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
During the meeting, the Commissioner of Police, Edo State in his introductory remarks stated that the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Edo State had met and discussed the request of WAEC and concluded the following:
i. that it will compromise the security put in place for the election; and
ii. that WAEC should relocate the examination to neighbouring States.
4. WAEC POSITION
i. The WAEC Team after citing the International nature of the examination;
ii. the readiness of the timetable one year ago;
iii. the need to ensure the integrity of the examination;
iv. the importance of the paper being taken that day;
vi. logistics, etc,
maintained the position of Management as contained in its letter that the
candidates and examination officials be exempted from restriction of movement
on the day of the election.
Then, on Monday, August 29, 2016, the Council received a letter from INEC, Edo State stating that it cannot grant the request of WAEC and advised that we relocate the candidates to any State, or States that are contiguous to Edo State. (Please see attached).
We were left with no other option than to heed the advice of INEC and the security agencies and decided to relocate the candidates (1,742) to Ore in Ondo State and Agbor in Delta State.
We are appealing to the Edo State Government to,
1. extend every necessary and possible assistance to the candidates and WAEC officials to ensure the candidates write the Mathematics 1&2 papers in identified centres outside Edo State, in line with the advice of INEC and security agencies;
2. direct the State-owned media outfits to inform the candidates of this arrangement through public service announcements.