Written by on February 9, 2023

The federal government has directed the closure of universities across the country for three weeks for the conduct of the coming elections.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) broke the news in a letter addressed to vice-chancellors and directors of inter-university centres. The order is to allow the over 3.8 million registered voters, accounting for 40.8 per cent of students, to participate in the elections.

Chris Maiyaki, NUC’s deputy executive secretary (administration), said the directive followed an order by Adamu Adamu, the minister of education.

Maiyaki said all universities in the country are to be shut from February 22 to March 14 to allow students to participate in the general election.

As vice-chancellors of all universities and directors/ Chief Executive of inter university centres are quite aware, the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday 25 February 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday 11 March 2023 for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively,” the statement reads.

In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu 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 22nd February and 14th March, 2023.

Consequently, Vice-Chancellors, as well as Directors/Chief Executives of inter-university centres, are by this Circular requested to shut down their respective Institutions from Wednesday 22 February 2023 to Tuesday 14 March 2023.

According to the circular, the Federal Government also weighed concerms expressed over the security of staff, students and property of the respective institutions.
There were also concerns that over 3 million Students would have been disenfranchised by lectures and examinations fixed within the general election period, aimed at covering time lost during the 8-month long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

At the time of this report it was not clear if a similar circular had been sent to polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics.
The unions in these institutions went on strike for a cumulative period of three weeks between June and August 2022.

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