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Nigerian universities to close during major election for security reasons

Fox News Flash top headlines for February 9
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Nigeria is gearing up for a historic election this month that could see up to 94 million residents casting their ballots. With security concerns in mind, Nigerian authorities have taken the unprecedented step of ordering all universities to shut down for nearly three weeks leading up to the election.

The National Universities Commission announced the closure in a letter to universities, citing “concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of our respective institutions” as a factor in the decision. The closure will be in effect from February 22 to March 14.

The Commission said the decision followed “extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies.” With students comprising 28% of the electorate, the closure could boost election-day turnout that has been low in previous voting.

The Commission also noted that the closure would allow students enrolled at faculties in other parts of the country to return to their registered voting areas. Nigeria’s electoral law does not allow people to vote away from where they are registered.

The closure of universities could also help ensure the safety of students, as the country is currently battling various armed groups in its northwest and southeast, and overstretched security forces continue to fight decade-long extremist violence in the northeast. In recent years, gunmen have targeted universities in the troubled northern region, with hundreds of students abducted and later freed — sometimes in exchange for ransoms.

The Commission has urged students to exercise their civic right and cast their ballot, noting that most of them are above 18 and have vote cards. It also encouraged universities to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their staff and students during the closure period.

The historic election on February 25 will see Nigerians elect a successor for President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as state governors and lawmakers. With the university closure in place, Nigerians will be able to cast their votes in a safe and secure environment.

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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