ASUU clarifies NUC’s authority on university closures for February elections

ASUU clarifies NUC's authority on university closures for February elections

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that it is not within the authority of the National Universities Commission (NUC) or other tertiary education regulatory agencies to close schools in order for students to vote in the upcoming elections.

A member of ASUU’s National Executive Council and the chairperson of the union at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Professor Gbolahan Bolarin, made this clarification in response to calls from various individuals and organizations, including the House of Representatives, for universities to be shut down to allow students to vote.

According to Professor Bolarin, the NUC is merely a regulatory body and does not have the power to order university closures. He stated that the Federal Ministry of Education, on behalf of the President, is the only authority that can make this type of decision.

In response to the House of Representatives’ resolution asking the NUC to shut down universities, Professor Bolarin suggested they address the President directly.

In a separate development, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has appealed to the European Union Election Observation Mission to ensure that over 3 million eligible Nigerian students are given the opportunity to cast their votes in the election set for February 25th. Mr. Obi expressed concern over the inability of many Nigerians, particularly in Lagos State, to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards.

During a meeting with EU-EOM observers, he emphasized the importance of this election for the future of young people and urged universities to provide a break for students to go vote. On the issue of collecting Permanent Voter Cards, Mr. Obi praised the Independent National Electoral Commission for extending the deadline for collection, but encouraged them to further ensure everyone has the chance to collect their cards. The EU-EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, confirmed that their visit was a routine one to engage with presidential candidates ahead of the election.

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