The House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to close tertiary education institutions so that students can participate in the upcoming general elections.
The National Universities Commission, the National Board for Technical Education, the National Commission for Colleges of Education, and the Federal Ministry of Education were all asked by the House to instruct all tertiary institutions to suspend academic activities during the election period.
Furthermore, the lower chamber resolved that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) make special arrangements for students to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion moved by Ibrahim Tukura (APC, Kebbi) on Thursday during plenary.
The presidential and National Assembly elections are set for February 25, while the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections will take place on March 11.
Tukura, who proposed the motion, stated that 3.8 million newly registered voters are students, accounting for “40.8 percent of the total number of newly registered voters.”
He added that “these students who constitute 40.8 percent of the newly registered voters, have their polling units sited in states outside their campuses, thereby necessitating travelling outside their respective institutions to vote in the 2023 elections.”
According to Tukura, the mode of distribution of PVCs affects students as well. As a result, he advocated for a special PVC collection for students.
“The students are busy with academic activities and the Independent National Electoral Commission is engaged in distributing PVCs at the wards across the 774 Local Government Areas of the federation which deprives students of the opportunity to collect their PVCs,” he said.
As a result, the House directed the Tertiary Education and Electoral Matters Committees to work with the agencies to facilitate the process and report back to the House within one week.
When Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila called it into question, the lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the motion.