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NANS Calls for Closure of Higher Institutions to Allow Active Participation In 2023 Elections

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The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS has urged the government to close all schools to allow students’ participation in the 2023 general elections.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the group’s Vice-President, Akinteye Baba Tunde.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to temporarily close all tertiary institutions in the country to allow students to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that would enable them to exercise their franchise during the 2023 poll.

“Subsequent to the extension of deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) till Sunday, February 5, 2023, and considering the fact that the general elections will commence in few weeks’ time, the Office of the NANS Vice President (External Affairs) calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately close all tertiary institutions temporarily to afford students the opportunity to collect their PVCs from their Local Government Areas and vote in the forthcoming elections,” the statement reads.

It adds, “In time past, the lack of flexibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the management of tertiary institutions have made it difficult and almost impossible for students to participate in the electoral process.

“The case is now different for the 2023 Elections. This is because, during the continuous voter registration exercise, students were in their various homes due to the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and about 4 million (according to statistics) of us registered newly for our PVCs.

“Now that we have registered for our PVCs and they have been processed and our tertiary institutions are not considering academic breaks for students during the general elections, despite having knowledge that most students registered outside their campuses, to go and collect our PVCs and have the opportunity to vote.

“This is why we are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to mandate the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) through the Federal Ministry of Education to shut down all tertiary institutions temporarily until after the general elections in order to allow the Nigerian students (who constitute 40.8 percent of the newly registered voters across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria) have access to their PVCs and vote for the candidates of their choice in fulfillment of their civic responsibility as patriotic citizens of Nigeria.

“As the leadership of NANS, we cannot sit and watch our school management disenfranchise us with their unfavourable academic calendars that do not take into consideration timelines and dates for election when we know that we have a stake in the turns of things as they will unfold in preceding weeks.

“This is why we are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to mandate the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) through the Federal Ministry of Education to shut down all tertiary institutions temporarily until after the general elections in order to allow the Nigerian students (who constitute 40.8 percent of the newly registered voters across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria) have access to their PVCs and vote for the candidates of their choice in fulfillment of their civic responsibility as patriotic citizens of Nigeria.

“We hereby urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make special arrangements for the students to collect their PVCs in consolidation of the effort of the Federal Government to shut down schools temporarily for students to exercise one of their fundamental human rights – to vote.”

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