Nigerian Students Speak On Closing Universities For Election

Nigerian Students Speak On Closing Universities For Election

Nigerian students have backed the closure of tertiary institutions in the country during the period of the upcoming elections.

Speaking in separate interviews with THE WHISTLER on Thursday, the heads of students’ unions of the University of Abuja, Kwara State University, and Ebonyi State University, said suspending academic activities will enable students to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming national and state elections.

In the wake of security concerns from different quarters, the National Universities Commission (NUC) recently directed the closure of Universities from February 22 to March 14.

The regulatory body made the decision in view of security concerns for staff, students, and other members of the University communities.

THE WHISTLER spoke to presidents and speaker student unions of Federal Universities on their thoughts to give students the opportunity to go home and participate in the elections.

The Speaker of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) Student Union Government, Mohammed Bahar, said while he agreed that students should be permitted to go home for at least a week, the Universities should not be shut down completely.

“Yes, actually I think the students should be given like one-week break to allow them to participate in the upcoming elections, but during the one-week break, the school should not be shut down completely.

“Academic activities can stop, but the school should still remain open because we have many students that are registered here in the University of Abuja,” he said.

The President of the Kwara State University (KWASU) Student Union Government, Israel Jesutofunmi, said he also believed students should be allowed to participate in the elections, adding that the school had just released its tentative examination timetable and instead of starting on 20th of February, the start date had been moved to the month of March.

“Yes, students should be given the opportunity to go home and participate in the upcoming elections because we have the right to vote and be voted for. We shouldn’t be deprived of that right because we are students in school.

“In fact, our school released the tentative examination timetable today and ideally, we were supposed to start our exams on the 20th of February, both written and computer based examinations, but because the school is also considering the fact that the students also need to vote in the elections, we will be starting the written exams on the 15th of March and the online exams on the 20th,” he said.

The President of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) Student Union Government, Ositadinma Okporo, also agreed that students should be allowed to go home, adding that whether they were old enough to vote or not, they should be at home with their parents for security reasons.

“Of course, it’s necessary for us to be given some time off to participate in the election. We really need that. Students that are of the age bracket should be allowed to participate, and even for everyone because the election period is a period of insecurity, so students should be with their parents and then come back after the election.

“I have spoken with my VC about the issue and he has said that he will abide by whatever directive is given by the Federal Government in that regard,” he said.

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