Candidates for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Enugu State were stranded following the sit-at-home order of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) observed on Mondays in the Southeast.
The 2022 Computer Based Test (CBT), which began on May 6, was to end yesterday but an official of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) said the exam was shifted to today because of the Monday sit-at-home in the Southeast.
Some of the candidates said they were not aware of the cancellation Ezekiel Okpara said: “There was no vehicle to convey my friend and I to TETFUND Centre at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, (UNEC) where we are supposed to write the examination. My dad drove us to the centre, but we were disappointed to meet other candidates loitering around the hall and telling us the exam had been postponed till Tuesday (today)
“We went to a nearby cybercafe to reprint our slip and confirmed the shift.”
Another candidate, who identified herself simply as Chigozie, said JAMB should have informed them earlier about the change rather than allow them risk coming to the centre.
“It is risky to go out on Mondays in Enugu for fear of the unknown. But we did and the exam has been postponed. Personally I feel disappointed and stranded because my house is far from the centre. But what can we do than go home and return tomorrow (today),” she said.
Meanwhile, students writing the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) have decried the stress they went through to write the Food and Nutrition paper due to non-availability of transportation.
Some of them said they trekked long distance to meet up with the exam. Nneka Ani said: “The exam was to hold by 9am, so I woke up early. I trekked a long distance but thank God I was able to get to the hall in time, though tired.
“The road was so empty with few vehicles. It was a challenge but I summoned courage and at the end, I succeeded,” she stressed.
She however appealed to enforcers of the sit-at-home to rescind their decision as it was affecting everyone and the state’s economy.
In Anambra State, candidates could not also assess their examination halls despite arriving as early as 7am. The halls were locked.
An official at the Integral Development Consult, Awka, Mrs. Ngozi Nwude-Nduka, said the centre was shut to ‘play safe’ and not jeopardise the security of candidates.
She said: “We want to ensure nothing happens to the candidates. Besides, possibilities of non-vehicular movement may be experienced and so hinder easy transportation for candidates who will come from distant places.
“This centre hosts 250 candidates at each session, comprising morning, afternoon and evening, and we cannot afford to jeopardise their security.”
She advised affected candidates to reprint their examination slips to enable them know their new examination dates.
But despite the cancelation of the order by IPOB, residents have continued to observe it for fear of being attacked.
In Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, and some parts of Awka, business and commercial activities were grounded. Vehicular movements were skeletal while major markets, banks, petrol stations, motor parks, and other business premises were under lock and key.