Universities Can’t Be Forced To Close For Elections — INEC

In response to a member of the House of Representatives, Kabir Tukura’s call for an ‘Urgent Need To Allow The Students Of Nigerian Tertiary Institutions To Vote In The General Elections,’ INEC has said that it has no power to do so.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, it is not within its purview to compel universities to announce vacations so that students may cast their votes in the next general elections.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Friday, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the media aide to Chairman Mahmoud Yakubu said this.

He said: “Each university has a governing council that decides how the university should be run. I doubt it, although I stand to be corrected, if the National Universities Commission can indeed issue a directive to universities on when to go on holidays or operate.

“Don’t forget that we also have private and state universities that are not being funded by the Federal Government, although the NUC performs its oversight functions on their academic programmes, which are subjected to regular accreditation exercise.

“In the same manner, the Independent National Electoral Commission cannot compel any university to announce a holiday for election purposes. We don’t have such powers. This decision is best left to the governing council of the individual universities.”

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