Alexander Okere, Benin
The Independent National Electoral Commission
has said that it will not postpone Saturday’s
governorship election in Edo State
for the West
African Senior School Certificate Examination
scheduled to hold on the same day.
The National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood
Yakubu, disclosed this during a stakeholders’
meeting held in Benin, the state capital, on
A total of 1,742 candidates are expected to sit
Mathematics 1 and 2 papers on September 10, the
same date of the governorship poll.
This development led to a protest by some of the
affected candidates and parents on Monday.
There had also been calls for the postponement of
the poll in order to allow the candidates exercise
their right to vote.
But the national chairman, who spoke through the
Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam
Olumekun, said that the electoral umpire had given
adequate notification of the election date, prior to
the date fixed for the examination by WAEC.
He explained, “On the issue of the WAEC
examination, as my chairman would say, ‘INEC is
the weeping boy’. Even when you see people that
are doing things that are wrong, you would revert
“It is important to draw your attention to the fact
that INEC gave notice of this election on March 2,
2016. There was no registration for the WAEC
examination by candidates as of that time. I stand
to be corrected.”
The INEC boss noted that the commission had held
a discussion with the examination body and
security agencies on the issue, where it was
agreed that the examination should be moved to
Ondo and Delta states, as holding it simultaneously
with the poll may create security challenges.
Yakubu said, “The issue is, basically, security. So,
the security agencies advised WAEC accordingly
that giving room for people to move around may
pose some challenges because criminals could
cash in on the situation.
“Permit me to remind you also that there are about
1.9m registered voters in Edo State, whose interest
also should be taken care of. At the end of that
meeting, we agreed that the exam be shifted
outside Edo State to places that are nearby.
“Indeed, WAEC had even concluded arrangements
to do this. It suggested Ore, Agbor and, I think, one
other place. Yes, there could be some
inconvenience for the candidates to travel outside
Edo State. But, of course, it is not too much pain
to bear, if you have the interest of your state at
“I do not think we need to suspend an election
because WAEC is going to conduct the General
Certificate Examinations. It is not SSCE but GCE for
those who did not do well in the past exams,” the
INEC chairman added.”