The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Are Afe Babalola (SAN), has picked hole in the decision of the federal government to withdraw Nigeria’s candidates from the 2019/2020 West African Examinations Council (WAEC), saying it is possible for the government to conduct the examination without endangering the lives of the candidates.
Babalola expressed fear that a year of idleness for 1.5 million Nigerian students occasioned by the withdrawal, may breed frustration and promote criminality.
The legal icon, who maintained that the lives and future of the students may be hanging in the balance due to the development, said it was wrong for the country to have made such sole decision due to the fear of COVID-19, when other participating nations have not withdrawn from the examination.
Babalola in a statement personally signed by him, advised the federal government to allow the WASSCE to take place in the empty spaces which are wasting away in our tertiary institutions, secondary schools and elementary school which can conveniently accommodate them with a lot of social distancing and due compliance with WHO rules.
On the withdrawal from the examination, which he said was not well thought-out, the legal luminary said: “It is my firm belief that the future of these 1.5 million young Nigerians who have registered for WAEC should not be put in jeopardy. It is a well-known fact that all schools, colleges and tertiary institutions in the country are currently shut down.
“This affords the federal government the opportunity to use them for WAEC examination. What the government should do is to prepare the empty rooms for WAEC examination – fumigate the halls and the premises, use face mask, provide sanitisers and ensure that WHO rules are obeyed to the letter.
“WAEC Law provides for a National Committee of WAEC in all the five countries. With that at the back of our minds, one would have expected that this matter should have been taken up by the National Committee of WAEC in Nigeria and the general body in Ghana before the declaration to withdrawal Nigeria from taking the examination”