Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Cross River state residents are beginning to feel the impact of the recent vandalism and looting of public and private offices in the state by hoodlums who are believed to have hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest in the country.
This is coming after the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, Nigeria gave their notification of temporarily relocating to Uyo Zonal office following the looting, vandalism and burning of their office in Calabar by the hoodlums who unleashed mayhem in the state recently.
The release which was signed by the Acting Head, Public Affairs of the exam body, Demianus G. Ojijeogu reads: “The West African Examinations Council, (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 WAEC Branch Office, Calabar, Cross River State, has been temporarily relocated to WAEC Zonal Office, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, till further notice.
“This development is as a result of the vandalisation, looting and burning down of the WAEC Branch Office, Calabar by hoodlums on Saturday, October 24, 2020.
“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 would 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.
“We wish to use this medium to thank all those who have, in one way or the other, sympathised or identified with us during this trying period.
“Thank you for your understanding and co-operation”.
Director of De-Wis College, Calabar who doubles as the South-South Zonal Coordinator of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, Obong Edet Inwang said the development is a very terrible one as it will affect many things in the educational sector. He condemned the attack on the office as it has nothing to do with the demands of the youths.
Another resident who pleaded anonymity said it is a way of saying that Cross River State is no more safe for their business. He called on the State government to immediately renovate and furnish the vandalized property. “People now live in fear. It’s a shame that our once safe haven is now a den for criminal activities making the state unsafe for business or leisure”, he said.
When TNN contacted the state’s commissioner for Education, Godwin Amanke, he stressed that the exam body is not relocating from the state. “WAEC will not move, WAEC will not move. We are on top of the situation. They will not move. They will not move”, the commissioner reiterated.