Acting on a tip-off that the Cross River State branch of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) is about to be relocated to Akwa Ibom state because of the destruction its Calabar office had suffered during the recent rampage in the state capital, the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Education, Mr Castro Ezama, had to rush to have urgent interface with the Zonal and branch management of WAEC.
Mr Oladele E. O, the Cross River State Branch Controller was on ground to receive the Special Adviser and conducted him around the vandalised and burnt office for damage assessment inspection this morning. Most painful is that, many unclaimed certificates were burnt.
While Mr Castro was addressing the management, he stated that, though the vandalization, looting and arson of the office is greatly condemned, this move by WAEC Management to relocate it’s office from Cross River State to Akwa Ibom is a concern that must be given a reconsideration because according to reports from the police, most of the looters and vandaliizers that were arrested are from Akwa Ibom, the same place the Calabar Office is about to be relocated to.
He lamented that this might provoke inter-state hostilities, should WAEC fail to rescind it’s decision of relocating it’s office from Calabar to Akwa Ibom, as Cross Riverians may likely construe that the Akwaibomites in Cross River State deliberately did this to dispossess Cross River State the WAEC office, while still licking wounds of the 76 oil wells they lost to Akwa Ibom State. He further suggested that WAEC should rather request from the Cross River State government to provide a place of temporary office so that the remaining certificates and other items could be stored, pending when the renovation of the burnt office would be made.
He went further to say that Governor Ayade, being a professor, is most passionately concerned on enhancing quality education in the state. Therefore, he would NEVER be comfortable with this decision of relocating the WAEC office to Akwa Ibom State. Rather, he will do anything possible to, not only have the office retained in the state, but go further to ensure it’s security.
In response, Mr Adebola A., the Director of Uyo Zonal Office of WAEC Expressed satisfaction over the timely response made by the state government. He said that the decision to move the remaining certificates to Akwa Ibom was for purpose of safety. He requested that the Special Adviser uses his office to facilitate for them an audience with the Governor and they will start from there.
The Special Adviser, with every sense of candor, submitted that the family, as the most vital social unit, has failed in its basic responsibility of turning the hearts of children to character, the result of which is shown in this wanton vandalism and destruction of private and public properties. And that there was no need of such endSars demonstrations in states where governors are not in control of the police, talk less of the WAEC. Such demonstration, if necessary, should have been taken to the Force Headquarters that controls SARS. It is sad.