The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has promised to immediately provide the West African Examination Council (WAEC) with an alternative office and two Hilux operation vehicles following the vandalisation of their office during the recent hoodlums attack in the state.
The exam body had on Tuesday, November 2 announced the temporal relocation of its branch office in Calabar to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, following the recent vandalisation and looting of its office by hoodlums on October 24 as a result of a fallout of the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
The Governor, who visited the premises of the examination body on Tuesday, to see the extent of destruction, pleaded with the management of WAEC to shelve plans to relocate from Cross River State.
“Let me once more apologize profusely to WAEC management for what has happened because this is not in the nature and character of Cross Riverians. We deeply regret this.” Ayade said.
“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 accomodation 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 examination in Cross River State. We have a list of all the items needed and we are going to do the best.”
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Frances Iweha Onuku. Senior Deputy Registrar, Text Development Division (TDD), thanked the governor for the visit and pleaded for assistance.
“The office was established to serve the people of Cross River State but unfortunately what we are seeing here today leaves so much to be desired . The question now is, can we still serve the people of this state with the office in this condition? With the situation on ground now is that we have to relocate to Uyo. We have an examination coming up in the next few weeks and we will have to plan for the exams,” Mrs Onuku said.
“At the end of this visit we will plead that whatever you can do with the special Grace of God so that we can continue to serve the people of Cross River State will be very much appreciated.” she added.
Meanwhile, the acting head of Corporate Affairs of WAEC, Demianus Ojijeogu, said the relocation to Uyo, “which is an interim measure, is to enable the Council carry out its operations and render services to Nigerian child and other stakeholders,”
“We wish to assure all our stakeholders and the general public that normal operations would resume in Calabar branch office once the status quo ante is restored,” he added.