The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has said that the abduction of more than 250 schoolgirls in Chibok in April 2014 may not have happened if the then Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima had listened to them.
On Sunday, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had unveiled Shettima as his running mate.
On April 14, 2014, the schoolgirls were abducted when insurgents attacked the Government Girls’ Secondary School (GGSS) in Chibok, Borno State.
Aware of the increasing insecurity in the state, WAEC had declined conducting its Senior School Certificate Examination in unsafe parts of Borno, including Chibok.
They however changed their mind when Shettima assured them that the state would provide sufficient security.
According to the then Head of WAEC National Office in Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, the body was initially reluctant to conduct its examination in Chibok and other troubled areas of the North-East because of the security challenges.
He said: “Following the previous experience, we were afraid to go to the North-East this year, yet we risked it and asked for extra security through the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike.
“We also asked the various state governments to relocate all the centres to the state capitals where there would be adequate security.
“The three governors did not respond to our request but instead said they had made adequate security arrangements. The Borno State government also refused to relocate the students from Chibok to safer places like Maiduguri.”
He stated further that one of the reasons the exam body insisted that the venues be moved to the state capital was because of the death of three of its staff while conducting a similar examination in a school along the Yola-Maiduguri road in 2013.
“The Borno governor, who initially declined transferring the final year students from centres in remote areas like Chibok to the state capital, finally agreed to do so after the kidnap”, he said.