…Certificates Of 135 Male Students To Be Cancelled – WAEC
Nigerian First Lady Patience Jonathan has lamented that her efforts to work with wife of Borno Governor Mrs. Nana Shettima on how to rescue the over 230 school girls abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno, is being frustrated.
Mrs Jonathan broke down in tears at the resumed meeting she had with the stakeholders including wives of state governors, female lawmakers at federal and state levels, ministers and leaders of various women organizations, to strategize on the best ways to ensure the release of the abducted girls.
“As the mother of the nation, I have called my daughter the wife of Borno State Governor. I told her that I was here for you, I will work with you.
“When this happened she did not come. I later sent for her and I asked her few questions she didn’t answer. During our last meeting I requested through her representative to come with few people, she didn’t turn till today. The next thing I saw was women demonstrating,” she said.
“No woman will seat and watch her house on fire, today my house is on fire.
“On Friday when she was called she gave 100 per cent assurance that she will be here but today she sent commissioner for women affairs. Again today she failed to show up and sent the commissioner,” she added.
Saying: “She is the mother of those children I am the grandmother. She should be more concerned. Nigerian women are calling her but she has refused to come. If the mother of Borno is not here I don’t know what to do.
“I don’t want anybody to reply me on the pages of newspapers because I am not abusing anybody. If you are not crying why must I cry more than the bereaved because if I do the world will ask me question”.
Mrs Jonathan who was disappointed with the seeming uncooperative attitude of the Borno delegations namely, Commissioners for Education, Women Affairs and the Principal, busted into tears.
“There is God, He will help us. You people must know that there is God o! You people must stop this bloodshed. Nigerian women will not cry in vain. You are playing games with us, if you don’t want our help don’t use our women to demonstrate again,” she said.
In her opening remarks at the meeting, Mrs Jonathan urged for cooperation and sacrifice.
“This (meeting) is sacrifice we must pay to make our country safe. We women are agents of peace, the children (abducted girls) are ours and we cannot fold our hands while our children are missing.
“We know they are missing, I was in church today (Sunday) I was not happy, I cried all through. I was not happy because of what is happening in our country. How can you not be touched when our people are dying?
“Women of Nigeria I want you to support me, I am begging you. You cannot know if you will be next tomorrow, as we are seated here. We really need these killings to stop. After killing is now kidnapping. If we fold our hands we might be the next to be kidnapped if we keep quiet.
“We are sympathising with our sisters in the north. We are not happy please. We do not mean harm. I am not quarrelling with anybody, I’m just saying let us stop the killing, let’s stop the kidnapping.
She said: “I’m really pleading with my whole heart. As we are moving about we are not wearing bullet proof we don’t know if we will be next. If the problem is the constitution let them amend it. Those in National Assembly we voted for them how can we use our hands to bring death on ourselves.”
“My sisters don’t see me as one accusing anybody I am not accusing anybody. We are here to find solution. We must see the end of this killing then we go forward.
“Let us fear God and tell the truth and if you don’t tell the truth, those that died their blood will be on your head,” Jonathan pleaded.
Also at the meeting, the West African Examination Council, (WAEC), said the certificate of the 135 male students who sat for the exam at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, would be invalid because the school has not be officially recognised as a mixed school.
Head of WAEC National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu, who was responding to the comments by Borno state Commissioner of Education, Musa Kubo, that the WAEC was duly informed, declared that as long as the request has not been granted, it was an illegal arrangement.
According to Eguridu, 387 girls wrote English examination, while only 80 wrote mathematics, adding that about 307 girls who ought to write the mathematics were absent.
This he explained was because, “the boys who wrote the exam in the school will be issued certificates reading Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok and it means their certificate will not be valid.
“That the State Government applied for the school to be converted to mix school, does not mean it’s been approved.”
Meanwhile, the school Principal, Hajia Asabe Kwabura, has said her granddaughter, Dorcas Yabuku was among the abducted girls.
The Principal who did not turn up with the register containing the names of the students to the meeting said, she has been in Police custody since the early hours of Sunday when the meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan ended.
She said some parents did not allow their children to continue to seat for the exam out of fear after the incident, which explains why the 307 girls did not turn up for the mathematics exam.
In attendance at the meeting were the Principal of the Government Girls College Chibok,Commissioners of Education, Health, wife of the Minister of State for Power from Borno State, LGA chairman, the wife of House Representative member, the Commissioner of Police and Divisional Police Officer, representative of house parents and the soldiers that were guarding the school.
Those absent were PTA Chairman, two parents of missing children, parents of girls who escaped and gateman of the school,
Mrs. Kwabura, who said she has worked in the school for three years said, the entire school was burn down by the insurgents.
According to her, “I was not in school when they (Boko Haram) struck, I was in Maiduguri for medical check up which is every two weeks as diabetic patient.”
On security arrangement for the school, she said, “The security men in Chibok were alerted to provide security for examination. DPO deployed four policemen to examination hall.
There was no security provided in the school at night. Chibok was safe until the incident.
“My granddaughter Dorcas Yakubu was among those abducted.”
“The commissioner of Police and the Army Captain said security personnel only resumed keeping watch on the school only when it is in session.”
The Commissioner of Education on his part tried to clear lot of misrepresentation on security. He said, “It is not the responsibility of the principal to provide security, it is that of the ministry of education. We had written a letter to Joint Task Force (JTF), and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Dambua, Chibok, to provide security for the exams not for students sleeping in the school.”
“The Borno State Governor did not fail in his responsibility of securing exam candidates,” he said defensively,” she said.