By Simon Ebegbulem
THERE is tension in Edo ahead of the September 10 governorship election, as students writing the General Certificate of Education, GCE, examinations and their parents have vowed to stage a protest over alleged refusal of security agents to exempt those writing the examination from restriction of movement during the polls.
Vanguard learned that the WAEC had written security agents to allow students participating in the examination movement this Saturday but it was said that security agencies rejected the request, explaining that it may jeopardise security arrangement for the election.
Security agents are arguing that allowing the students movement will give thugs the opportunity to disrupt the election since most of the polling units to be used for the elections are in the schools.
It was learned that the authorities of the examination body are now suggesting that the students may to travel outside Edo state to participate in the examination, a suggestion the students and their parents are kicking against due to the inconveniences it will cause them.
According to one of the parents, who craved anonymity: “We are complaining that things are difficult they are now telling us to take our children outside Edo state, where are we going to get the money to keep them in a hotel and how are they going to read to review the paper they have the next day? Or are they going to travel that same Saturday when there will be no movement?
“It is a complicated situation which the Federal government or even the INEC should look into because WAEC said they cannot shift their exams just because one state is holding a governorship election. So, if they have the interest of our children at heart, both INEC and the Federal government should come together and shift the election in Edo state so that the money we paid as parents will not be a waste.
‘’After all the election is only holding in Edo State they can still hold it another day but GCE examination is across the country and according to WAEC they cannot shift that of Edo because it is the same question across the country. We are mobilising ourselves to stage a protest this week to draw the attention of the world to our plight. Our children have been preparing for this examination and they cannot waste one year because of the governorship election in Edo state.’’