2023: To enable students vote, Reps ask FG to shut schools
In order for students to fully participate in the upcoming general elections, the House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to shut down tertiary educational institutions.
The House requested that the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission, the National Board for Technical Education, the National Commission for Colleges of Education, and all other tertiary institutions halt academic activity during the election season.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was directed to make special provisions for students to receive Permanent Voters Cards, according to a lower chamber resolution (PVC).
Following the approval of a motion made on Thursday at plenary by Ibrahim Tukura (APC, Kebbi), these resolutions were passed.
Elections for the National Assembly and presidency are scheduled for February 25, while those for governor and the Houses of Assembly are scheduled for March 11.
Students make up 3.8 million newly registered voters, or 40.8% of all newly registered voters, according to Tukura, the motion’s proposer.
He said, “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.”
Tukura added that the mode of distribution of PVCs affects students as well. Hence, he called 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,” Tukura said.
The Tertiary Education and Electoral Matters Committees were therefore instructed by the House to coordinate with the organizations to streamline the procedure and report back to the House within a week.
The lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the measure when Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila questioned it.