The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has bowed to the pressure and criticism from a Muslim group, thus readjusting the part of its 2018 May/June Examination that clashed with the Friday Juma’at prayer.
In the timetable for 2018 May/June Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), the exam body had schedule Chemistry paper 1 and 2 to hold between 2 pm to 5 pm on Friday, April 20 – and the Muslim Friday prayers usually hold between 1:30 pm to 3pm.
Apparently cheesed off by the development, Ishaq Akintola, president of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), said the timetable was an “injustice” against Muslims, whom he claimed had become “endangered species”.
“When there is no justice, there can never be peace and everyone is clamouring for peace,” said Mr. Akintola, a professor.
According to him, WAEC had fixed examinations during Jummat sessions for some years and Muslim leaders discussed with the council in 2016 and 2017.
“Until something starts happening, until the Muslims start disrupting WAEC examination, until Muslims start tearing WAEC examination materials, that is when government will start paying attention.
“WAEC is playing games and they want the Muslims to make noise every year, the council is deliberately provoking Muslims and it has continued to show itself as a consistent anti-Muslim institution,” he said.
“Section 38 subsection 1 and 2 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution stipulates that there must be freedom of worship and WAEC fixing an examination for 2pm simply means that WAEC does not want Muslims to worship, therefore WAEC is an oppressor and we are ready for them,” he said.
“The Muslims in every vicinity of the exam can mobilise on the day of the examination and go to the schools which the exams will be written, we are sending this warning to WAEC not to dare it,” he said.
He said fixing a major subject at Jummat time is “illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful”.
However, the Director of Public Affairs, WAEC Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, confirmed the slight amendment following reactions from MURIC.
“For the sake of the people who will go to the mosque, the exam will be delayed till they come back.
“The paper will be delayed till 2:30 pm or 3 pm, when the Muslims will return from the mosque,” Mr Ojijeogu told Premium Times on Saturday.“