By Gabriel Dike
Aggrieved candidates in the on-going 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday staged protest in Lagos as well as occupy the Lagos State House Assembly against the poor handling of the exam by JAMB and the accredited cybercafé operators.
The protest which started around Maryland early in the morning saw the aggrieved university applicants go through different streets with placards along with some concerned parents.
The aggrieved candidates who came from different parts of the state first converged at their respective exam centres before making the journey through the Ikorodu Expressway to Maryland enroute to Alausa where they sought the intervention of the state assembly to intervene.
The protesters called for the removal of JAMB’s Registrar, Prof Dibu Ojerinde stating that his policies since taking leadership of the exam body has been to the detriment of the students seeking admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Some of the aggrieved candidates said that even with a score of 250 one can’t be eligible to sit for the post-UTME of their choice university. Others explained that they were transferred to some other institutions they didn’t fill for, most of which are expensive private schools or ones not offering their choice course.
After several hours of protest along the streets, the aggrieved candidate’s including some concerned parents stormed the House of Assembly to complaint about the shoddy conduct of the 2016 tertiary institution admission test.
Coordinator of the protesters, Mr. Oludotun Sodunke condemned the conduct of the matriculation examination, insisting that the JAMB Registrar, Prof Ojerinde had outlived his stay at the board.
Sodunke explained that the first set of candidates that wrote the first UTME test were failed because they were used as genuine pigs by JAMB to test the broadband.
He appealed to Governor Akunwunmi Ambode to make a representation on behalf of the aggrieved candidates to the Federal Government to restructure JAMB and make it function in the interest of Nigerian students. He described the 2016 UTME as the worst ever conducted by the board.
One of the aggrieved candidates, Mary Akiode who wrote the UTME in Osun state complained that the system allocated to her at the centre shut down several times and stressed that it was responsible for her scoring 193 in the exam,
Another affected candidate, Ayomide Akindele who sat for the exam at Kindle e-learning centre at Iseyin in Oyo state complained that the computer assigned to her for the exam went off three times without UPS back-up.
Some of the candidates and parents faulted the conduct of the examination describing the exercise as fraud and that they received two results to which confirm their claims of irregularities observed in the 2016 UTME.
As at the time filling this report no official of the assembly came out to address the aggrieved candidates.
The 2016 UTME would end today (Tuesday) throughout the nation. Before the matriculation examination thousands of candidates nationwide who could not register for the exam staged protest forcing JAMB to extend the deadline period.
When contacted on the protest in Lagos by the aggrieved UTME candidates, the Head of Media in JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin said the action was uncalled for and that the management exam board was aware of some hitches which it worked round the clock correct.
The JAMB image maker said “It’s surprising that these same proprietors will turn around to organised candidates to protest over our activities. We are not perfect as an organisation but working hard to ensure that Nigerian education is better than it is,we have taken the risk to do the unthinkable so as to change the paradigm.’’
Aggrieved candidates and parents protesting at the Lagos House of Assembly on the poor handling of the 2016 UTME with different placards