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Nigeria Elections: Government orders closure of universities ahead of polls

Nigeria Elections: Government orders closure of universities ahead of polls
Students carry a luggage as they leave as directed by authorities of the University of Lagos ....   -  
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The Nigerian government has directed that universities and inter-university centres close between 22 February and 14 March ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The decision follows concerns about the safety and security of staff and students during the poll.

The directive, which was issued by the National Universities Commission (NUC) was directed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, local media reported on Thursday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the presidential and national assembly elections for 25 February, and governorship and states’ houses of assembly elections for 11th March.

The electoral body has insisted the elections would go ahead as scheduled. This is in spite of the cash and fuel scarcity.

“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of the respective institutions, the 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 22 February and 14 March, 2023,” Mr Maiyaki wrote.

Nigerians, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and the House of Representatives had raised concerns over the possible disenfranchisement of some Nigerian students whose institutions had scheduled examinations through the period of the elections.

The House of Representatives also asked the government agencies in charge of tertiary institutions to shut them down during elections.

Students make up 40 per cent of the newly registered voters during the Continuous Voters Registrations between June 2021 and June 2022, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said in October 2022, according to a report by Premium time Nigeria.

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