Authorities of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have denied the rumour that candidates for the Police recruitment exercise wrote an examination in Arabic.
Police recruitment candidates wrote the qualifying examination nationwide on Friday, being a part of the series of tests for their enlistment into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
However, social media became inundated with claims that candidates wrote an examination in Arabic, in addition to three other subjects, a situation that many believed was meant to screen out candidates from other parts of the country who are unlikely to be familiar with Arabic.
Others interpreted it as one of the suspicious steps to ultimately islamise Nigeria.
Speaking on Saturday, the spokesperson of the exam body, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said that JAMB examined the candidates in the English Language only, and that no one wrote examinations in any other subject or language.
Fabian explained that JAMB generally examines candidates in 23 subjects which are listed alphabetically in its computer-based module, and that Arabic is one of the four subjects in the alphabetical categorisations.
Dr. Benjamin explained: “Alphabetically, Arts comes first, followed by Arabic, then Agric, and then English.
“The software is designed to push four subjects per candidate; so, those three other subjects were dummy subjects that weren’t meant to be answered because there’s practically no mark for them in this particular examination.
“The Police recruitment examination is only in English Language.
“The instructions were clearly written, but we envisaged that some candidates might still not read them, so the examiners read out the instructions.
“The candidates were to answer 60 questions within the 45 minutes they had for the examination. That being the case, how could anyone possibly write four papers in 45 minutes?”
Benjamin noted that Nigerians were afraid that because JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, is a Muslim, he wanted to Islamise Nigeria, saying it was a ridiculous claim.
He said that despite the fear in some quarters, every section of the country will be represented in the recruitment.
It may be recalled that the News Agency of Nigeria had reported on Friday that candidates who wrote the examination on Friday alleged that they were tested in “general knowledge, skill of grammar and daily calculation.”