Secondary School students have called for a shift in date of the gubernatorial election in Edo State scheduled to hold on Saturday, September 10, 2016 to another date as it clashed with their Mathematics examination also scheduled by the West African Examination Council for the same day.
The students who stormed the Government House, Benin City with placards with various inscriptions said holding the examination and the poll same day would disenfranchise them.
They students also said they would kick against any plan to be moved to other states for the Mathematics examination as planned by WAEC, adding that this would not only disorganise them but also put them at a disadvantage.
Spokesman for the students, Iko Emmanuel Moses said “our position about the General Certificate Examination (GCE) in Edo State, the scheduled governorship election on the 10th of September, with a deep sense of regret and pains, we wish to express and oppose the disturbing circumstances surrounding the above examination of this year and its effect on our expected performance in the examination.
“The plan to relocate us out of Edo State, our state to other regions to sit for the examination because of the September 10 election in Edo State as scheduled by INEC is an ill wind which will affect our chance to perform well in the examination. We have found this situation very disturbing, discouraging and we cannot take the risk.”
Responding , Governor Adams Oshiomhole said he would pass their protest letter to the President, saying the election was fixed by INEC which is an independent body.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo says the responsibility for fixing the governorship election in the State rests on the Independent National Electoral Commission, explaining that he was not consulted when the election for September 10 was scheduled.
He said, there are two examinations that are due, one for the people of Edo to write exams on whom they want to be their governor, and you yourselves to write exams which will constitute the foundation of your future. But let me first tell you the whole truth because when I listened to you and you were appealing to me, I am touched. But I get the impression that you probably think that I am responsible for this decision. I am not.
“Let me tell you the truth about it. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a few months back, I think it is about two months now or three months, they announced that they will conduct the governorship election in Edo State on the 10th of September. That decision was taken by INEC. By law, INEC has the power to make those decisions. The law doesn’t oblige them to consult with me or to seek my approval. So, I have no input in the decision of INEC to fix September 10 for the election. And in fairness to the other political parties, I don’t believe that they too had any input. I also know that the PDP for example or the Labour Party or the APGA, none of them had any input in the decision of INEC to fix 10th. That power is solely the power of INEC.”