Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River says the State Government will provide an alternative office and two Hilux operational vehicles for the West African Examination Council, after hoodlums vandalized its building on October 24.
Ayade announced this when he visited the premises of the examination body on Tuesday in Calabar, to assess the extent of destruction.
The governor, who pleaded with the management of WAEC to shelve its planned relocation from Cross River, said the state government would immediately make the provisions to ease its operations in the state.
“Let me once more apologize profusely to WAEC management for what has happened because this is not in the nature and character of Cross River people. We deeply regret this.
“But I have to plead with you that you do not need to relocate to Akwa Ibom. We are going to immediately provide an alternative office.
“We will do everything we can because it is necessary for you to operate from here so that we can have quality examination, quality teaching and ensure that Cross River citizens also prosper and become who they want to become in the society.
“Moving out from here to Akwa Ibom will not serve the interest of Cross River citizens. I sincerely feel that we can have an emergency action plan that can help you restore this office.
“But, before we do that, I have given an instruction that an emergency accommodation be provided for WAEC with two pick up vehicles to enable you get back on your feet,” he said.
Ayade said that the young people who carried out the dastardly act were ignorant of the consequences of their actions.
“So, please let us not visit their sins on them, let us forgive them because that is what the Bible teaches,” he added.
According to him, should WAEC leave the state, it will affect the quality of WAEC examination in Cross River, adding that government had a list of all the items needed and will do its best to keep the office operational.
Speaking earlier, Frances Iweha-Onuku, Senior Deputy Registrar, Text Development Division, thanked the governor for the visit and pleaded for assistance.
“The office was established to serve the people of Cross River, but unfortunately what we are seeing here today leaves so much to be desired.
“The question is can we still serve the people of this state with the office in this condition?
“With the situation on ground now, we have to relocate to Uyo. We have an examination coming up in the next few weeks and we will have to plan for the exams.
“At the end of this visit, we will plead that whatever you can do with the special Grace of God so that we can continue to serve the people of Cross River, will be very much appreciated,” she added.