Eromosele Ebhomele

The protesters blocked the main entrance to the Lagos State Assembly and the road leading to the governor's office

The protesters blocked the main entrance to the Lagos State Assembly and the road leading to the governor’s office

Hundreds of aggrieved candidates of the current Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, blocked the main entrance to the Lagos State Assembly and the road leading to the governor’s office on Tuesday as they protested what they described as mismanagement of this year’s examination.

Armed with placards with various inscriptions, they demanded for the removal of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, Registrar of Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB, for the less than satisfactory performance.

The candidates said they were in the House to get the attention of the lawmakers to their plights in relation to the examination.

They lamented that in some cases, candidates who chose Lagos as the choice for their examinations, were posted out of the state.

One of the candidates who gave her name simply as Aisha, said instead of Lagos for her centre, she was posted to Osun state and got to the venue of the examination an hour behind the commencement time.

She also said after the examination, she got a text message from JAMB stating that she scored 282, but that on getting to an internet centre to print out her score, she saw 232. She then wondered how 50 marks could be lost between when she received the text message and when she got to a cyber café.

Another aggrieved candidate told P.M. NEWS that she was suddenly transferred to Afuze in Edo State for the examination instead of Lagos which she chose as centre for the examination.

Many of the protesters complained that their computer systems malfunctioned during the examination as the systems were going off and on. Some others complained that the generating set in their centres packed up.

The protesters blocked the main entrance to the Lagos State Assembly and the road leading to the governor's office

The protesters blocked the main entrance to the Lagos State Assembly and the road leading to the governor’s office

The aggrieved candidates further lamented that some candidates got their scores even before they sat for the examination while some others had three different scores sent to them.

A candidate complained that she applied to write examination on science subjects since she wanted to study Medicine, but that in the examination hall, she got Government, Literature, and other non-related subjects.

Adebisi Shonupe, a candidate, alleged: “Dibu is marking down candidates to pave way for private universities and also deduct the scores of the candidates at his own discretion.

“We also received some of our results before we wrote the exam.”

Another candidate, Okelola Samson, said that he read rigorously for the examination, but that JAMB gave him 170 marks which was against his expectation.

He, like his other protesting colleagues, wondered why JAMB would decide to commence the computer-base examination as against the previous method when Ojerinde knew that the regulatory body was not prepared.

They alleged that after JAMB realised that it had “destroyed our destinies, it started awarding 40 marks each to the scores of some people. What was the criteria for the 40 marks?”

Professor Ojerinde, JAMB Registrar

Professor Ojerinde, JAMB Registrar

Leaders of the protesting candidates said they were giving JAMB just three days to resolve the problems it had created or face picketing.

They also said they were mobilising their colleagues in other states of the federation to embark on protest against Ojerinde.

One of the coordinators of the protest and Director of Next Level Academy, Abayomi Arowolo, lamented that Ojerinde “messed up with the future of the students.

“After the candidates finished the examinations, JAMB added 40 marks to their scores and later removed it from the candidates’ scores. Some of the candidates are still writing the exam up till now. So the Commission should be called to order,” he said.

Addressing the protesting students, the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said lawmakers were busy with legislative duties and that this was the reason the House did not attend to them promptly.

He told the protesters that they were in the right place and that their complaints would be channelled to the appropriate quarters.

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