The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has condemned the federal government’s move on shutting down universities ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had through the National University Commission, instructed the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to shut down academic activities in their various institutions for a period of three weeks, to enable students to participate in the electioneering process.
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Reacting to the directives, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, during an interview on Thursday evening, February 9, argued that the NUC had no right to issue such a directive as the closure and opening of universities were the prerogatives of universities’ Senates. He added that universities had never been shut down because of elections.
Osodeke was, however, countered by the chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, who said the directives were not out of place as Nigeria had always closed universities during elections to give an opportunity to those who registered away from the university to vote, and the use of universities campus as polling units.
Also speaking, the National President, of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, said the National Board for Technical Education, had yet to come up with any directive regarding the forthcoming elections. He however maintained that the closure and opening of institutions were under the jurisdiction of the institutions’ Senates.
The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Usman Barambu, said the directive by the NUC was welcome.
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