The West African Examinations Council, Nigeria, has relocated its Calabar, Cross River State branch office to the zonal office in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
A statement signed by acting Head of Public Affairs, WAEC, Demianus Ojijeogu, said the development was as a result of the vandalism, looting and burning down of the Calabar branch office by hoodlums on Saturday, October 24, 2020.
The statement read,
“WAEC Nigeria wishes to inform the Cross River State Government, Cross River State Ministry of Education, school principals, candidates, other stakeholders in Cross River State and indeed, the general public, that the WAEC branch office, Calabar, Cross River State, has been temporarily relocated to the WAEC zonal office, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, till further notice.
“This development is as a result of the vandalism, looting and burning down of the WAEC branch office, Calabar by hoodlums on Saturday, October 24, 2020.”
The statement said the relocation, which was an interim measure, was to enable the council to continue to carry out its operations and render services to the Nigerian child and other stakeholders.
It added, “The relocation, which is an interim measure, is to enable the council to continue to carry out its operations and render services to the Nigerian child and other stakeholders. We wish to assure all stakeholders and the general public that normal operations will resume in the Calabar branch office once the status quo ante is restored.
“The council wishes to apologise to its stakeholders and the general public for any inconvenience that may arise as a result of this relocation.”
Meanwhile, the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, has pleaded with WAEC not to go ahead with the relocation of its branch office from Calabar to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The governor promised to provide the body an alternative office and two Hilux operational vehicles after.
Ayade, who visited the branch office on Tuesday to see the extent of destruction said,
“Let me once more apologise profusely to the WAEC management for what has happened, because this is not in the nature and character of Cross Riverians. We deeply regret this.
“But I have to plead with you that you do not have to relocate to Uyo. We are going to provide an alternative office immediately. We will do everything we can, because it is necessary for you to operate from here so that we can have quality examination, quality teaching and ensure that Cross Riverians also prosper and become who they want to become in the society.
“Moving out from here to Uyo will not serve the interest of Cross Riverians. I sincerely feel that we can have an emergency action plan that can help you restore this office, but before we do that, I have given an instruction that an emergency accommodation be provided for WAEC and we are also providing you two pick up vehicles to enable you get back on your feet.
“The young people involved do not know that it is for their sake that we are in this public office. So, please let us not visit their sins on them; let us forgive them because that is what the Bible teaches. If you leave the state, it will affect the quality of WAEC examinations in Cross River State. We have a list of all the items needed and we are going to do the best.”
The Senior Deputy Registrar, Text Development Division, WAEC, Mrs Frances Onuku, thanked the governor for the visit and pleaded for assistance.