Nigeria government on Thursday ordered the closure of universities for students to participate in the 2023 general election.
Nigeria’s National Universities Commission (NUC) gave the directive in a letter addressed to universities’ vice-chancellors and directors.
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NUC Deputy executive secretary (administration), Chris Maiyaki, said the directive takes effect from Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Maiyaki noted that the directive was based on a directive from Nigeria’s education minister Adamu Adamu.
“As Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Director/Chief Executive of Inter-University Centres are quite aware the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday February 25, 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday March 11, 2023 for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively.
“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of the our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adama Adamu has following extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies, directed that all Universities and Inter-University Centres be shut down and academic activities be suspended between 22 February and 14th March, 2023.”
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The suspension of academic activities comes days after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) asked President Muhammadu Buhari to shut down all tertiary institutions until after the February 25 and March 11 elections.
NANS vice-president Akinteye Babatunde stressed that the shutdown would allow students to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
“The office of the NANS vice president (external affairs) calls on the federal government of Nigeria to immediately close all tertiary institutions temporarily to afford students the opportunity to collect their PVCs from their local government Areas and vote in the forthcoming elections,” Babatunde said.