A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Afe Babalola, has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to shut down universities in the country over the forthcoming elections.
The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC) had on February 9 ordered the closure of universities across the country to enable students to participate in the February 25 and March 11 general elections. Also, shut were polytechnics across the country.
But Babalola, the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, said the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, does not have the power to direct NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed to close down tertiary institutions.
“Does the Minister of Education have the statutory power to direct the NUC to close down universities on the grounds of the forthcoming elections?” he said during the 5th induction ceremony of 123 medical doctors, who just graduated at ABUAD, held at the Alfa Belgore Hall of the institution in Ado-Ekiti.
“Does the NUC possess the statutory power to close down all or any of the universities on the ground of the elections on the forthcoming elections? I say categorically for anybody to hear that the Education Minister has no power to give a directive to the NUC to close down any university.”
According to him, Nigeria has a criminal code and other legislations have provisions which the government and law enforcement agents could evoke to deal with any person, whatever his class, whom the security agents have reasons to believe is likely to put the security of staff, students and
Babalola also spoke on the nation’s constitution saying the problem that is causing apprehension among transactional politicians is the 1999 Constitution.