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Hundreds of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates on Wednesday morning stormed the University of Lagos to protest against the decision of the institution to stop them from doing the forthcoming post-UTME.
The candidates alleged that the authorities of university, in liaison with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, had rolled out a new admission procedure that prevented them from taking the examination to secure admission into the ivory tower.
Their allegation comes as UNILAG and JAMB defended their different positions in the exercise.
The Head of Public Relations, JAMB, Dr. Benjamin Fabian, said the board did not intentionally exclude any candidate.
He said, “We are only trying to ensure that candidates have better chances for admission this year unlike what obtained in the past. This time around, we do not want to wait till universities end their first choice admissions. We do not want some candidates to forfeit their admission easily. By next week, we shall release the national distribution list that will open more opportunities for them.”
The Registrar, UNILAG, Dr. Taiwo Ipaye, said the university was only working with the post- UTME screening list sent by JAMB.
According to her, only candidates whose names were forwarded to the University of Lagos by JAMB are eligible for the 2015/2016 post-UTME screening.
Meanwhile, many of the candidates, who came with their parents, had converged on the university entrance as early as 7am, chanting solidarity songs and demanding the removal of the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde.
Their action not only caused gridlock at the entrance of the university, it later resulted in the closure of the gate.
The protesters, led by the President, Association of Tutorial School Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Sodunke Oludotun, later forced their way into the university.
According to the protesters, the university upped its cut-off to 250 marks against the recommended 180 marks by JAMB.
JAMB, on July 14 had after its sixth consultative meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, pegged the cut-off mark to 180 for candidates seeking university admission and 150 marks for those seeking places in polytechnics and colleges of education.
Oludotun, who spoke to our correspondent, described the upping of the cut-off marks at UNILAG as illegal.
He said, “Contrary to Prof. Dibu Ojerinde’s announcement of 180 as a minimum score, UNILAG has started selling post-UTME form for only the candidates that scored 250 and above and thereby putting the lives of about 24, 000 qualified and prospective candidates in a state of uncertainty and despair. We are protesting to call the attention of the Federal Government to this injustice.”