The Head of National Office of WAEC, Mr Charles Eguridu, says Borno government officials should be blamed for the abduction of school girls in Chibok.
Eguridu spoke in Abuja at a meeting of stakeholders convened by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to seek the actual whereabouts of the abducted girls of Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno.
He said WAEC had been silent because it did not want to heat up the polity by creating tension between the federal and the state government.
He noted that he had been, on several occasions, encouraging the workers who had refused to go to Borno, Adamawa or Yobe to conduct examinations that there was adequate security in the states.
“I wrote to the Minister of Education to ask for the relocation of students to sit for their examinations in the state capitals in safe locations.
“The minister in turn wrote to the three governors but none of them responded; then I directed my zonal coordinator in Borno in particular, to liaise with the Ministry of Education in that state.
“The response they got was so disheartening; they were told that they had security in place for the candidates and that we should come and conduct the examinations in the schools.
“They also said that they are not ready to relocate their students from Chibok; and indeed other areas to Maiduguri or nearby locations, where security agencies could provide security,’’ he said.
He noted that after the abduction of the girls, the WAEC officials got a response from Borno government that it was ready to relocate the remaining students to another place called Uba.
He said 530 students applied to sit for the examinations in the area comprising 395 girls and 135 boys; adding that after the abduction, 189 were relocated to Uba to continue their examinations.
However, Hajiya Nana Shettima, the wife of the Borno governor wife, said 53 girls had returned safely to their parents.
And in a related development, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, on Sunday, announced a special prayer for the freedom of more than 200 school girls abducted in Chibok, Borno.
Rev. Fr. Azige Alfred, the Assistant Parish Priest of the church, said during his sermon that the prayer became imperative to seek God’s intervention.
“The church has decided to intercede for the release of the abducted girls throughout the month of May,’’ he said.
He urged the members of the church and Nigerians to pray seriously and ask God to help the girls to gain freedom.
Alfred also said because of the security challenges in the country; the church had taken some measures to protect members.
He said such measures included the directive that church members and visitors should not be allowed to enter the church with handbags.
He called on leaders to create employment opportunity for the youths to curtail vices in the society.
He also called on the insurgents to have a change of heart, warning that everyone would give accounts of his or her deeds on the last day.