June 25, 2024

Edo Community Cries Out Over Relocation Of Exam Centre

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The people of Obazuwa Community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, has sent Save Our Soul, (SOS) to Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Oba of Benin Kingdom, HRM, Oba Ewuare II, over the relocation of the Common Entrance Examination Centre in their community to Ikoro town a river line area.

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The community in their letter to the governor, signed by Pa. Roland Aimuamwonsa Oyemwense,
Odionwere, Obazuwa Village, and Elder Dennis Ibizugbe Secretary, appealed to the governor to prevail on SUBEB to reverse the decision to move the Examinations Centre from
Obazuwa Community to the Ikoro Community.

According to them, “Obazuwa Community is within the urban precincts of Benin City and is squarely an upland but Ikoro village is squarely an aquatic village situated in the waterside.

“It is known by all that since inception, the acclaimed Common Entrance Examinations have been approved by the State Government to be conducted and written in Obazuwa Primary School and this venue serves all the surrounding villages within Obazuwa including the said Ikoro village.

“It is disheartening to note that, the ljaw peopie in lkoro village had in connivance with the unsuspecting SUBEB and state actors instigated the relocation of the venue for the examination to Ikoro Village.

*We are very disturbed about this development not only because it embarrasses our sensibilities as a bigger and sub-urban community than Ikoro village but also because of the serious security implications this has for our children.”

Going further, they appealed to Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor and His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, to intervene by bringing back the examination centre.

“The Ijaws in Ikoro village have been formenting unprovoked trouble with our community for years now and we are very apprehensive that this move may pose serious security threats for our children and children of other neigbouring villages who may be forced to sit and write common entrance exams at Ikoro village which is far more deeper in the thick interior forests and closer to the big rivers than Obazuwa.

We are law abiding citizens, so we appeal to our amiable Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and also to SUBEB over the matter for intervention and re-consideration of the ill-advised relocation.

“We are vehemently protesting the relocation. It is grossly ill-advised. It was considered with little or no investigation of the geographical terrain or factors involved and the existing tensions between us and the ljaws in lkoro village. No consultations were even made with the traditional leaders of Obazuwa community.

“We look at the decision as draconian, authoritarian and dictatorial. We are apprehensive that school pupils from Obazuwa and other neighbouring villages could be drowned in the rivers of lkoro, maimed, kidnapped and face other existential threats if they are made to go and write common entrance exams in Ikoro waterside. Let it be put on record that the people of Obazuwa Community issued a warning on this matter beforehand.

“Consequently, we are humbly appealing to Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and SUBEB to intervene in this matter as the relocation does not sit well with not just only us but also the entire voiceless surrounding villages also affected by the ill-advised relocation. Our people and indeed residents of the surrounding villages have sworn not to send their children to Ikoro village for the exams until the decision is reversed. In an era where the number of out-of-school children is soaring by the day, any decision or official action intended to sabotage the giant strides of this government in education ought to be stopped, reversed and nipped in the bud without delay.”

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