The Independent National Electoral
Commission has said that it will not postpone Saturday’s governorship election
in Edo State for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination
scheduled to hold on the same day.
The National Chairman of INEC, Prof.
Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting held in Benin,
the state capital, on Wednesday.
A total of 1,742 candidates are
expected to sit Mathematics 1 and 2 papers on September 10, the same date of
the governorship poll.
This development led to a protest
by some of the affected candidates and parents on Monday.
There had also been calls for the
postponement of the poll in order to allow the candidates exercise their right
But the national chairman, who
spoke through the Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, said
that the electoral umpire had given adequate notification of the election date,
prior to the date fixed for the examination by WAEC.
He explained, “On the issue of the
WAEC examination, as my chairman would say, ‘INEC is the weeping boy’. Even
when you see people that are doing things that are wrong, you would revert to
“It is important to draw your
attention to the fact that INEC gave notice of this election on March 2, 2016.
There was no registration for the WAEC examination by candidates as of that
time. I stand to be corrected.”
The INEC boss noted that the
commission had held a discussion with the examination body and security
agencies on the issue, where it was agreed that the examination should be moved
to Ondo and Delta states, as holding it simultaneously with the poll may create
Yakubu said, “The issue is,
basically, security. So, the security agencies advised WAEC accordingly that
giving room for people to move around may pose some challenges because
criminals could cash in on the situation.
“Permit me to remind you also that
there are about 1.9m registered voters in Edo State, whose interest also should
be taken care of. At the end of that meeting, we agreed that the exam be
shifted outside Edo State to places that are nearby.
“Indeed, WAEC had even concluded
arrangements to do this. It suggested Ore, Agbor and, I think, one other place.
Yes, there could be some inconvenience for the candidates to travel outside Edo
State. But, of course, it is not too much pain to bear, if you have the
interest of your state at heart.
“I do not think we need to suspend
an election because WAEC is going to conduct the General Certificate
Examinations. It is not SSCE but GCE for those who did not do well in the past
exams,” the INEC chairman added.”