CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

2023: Plans To Disenfranchise Tertiary Students Unacceptable — CAPPA

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2023: Plans To Disenfranchise Tertiary Students Unacceptable — CAPPA

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has expressed worry about reports that suggest that about 3.5 million or more Nigeri­an youths may not be able to vote during the general elections due to tertiary institutions academic calendars for the 2022/2023 ses­sion.

According to a statement signed by Zikora Ibeh, CAPPA’s Policy and Research, this posi­tion is hinged on media reports indicating that most tertiary institutions that have resumed after the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Uni­versities (ASUU) will continue academic activities during the February 2023 elections and will only shut down in March 2023 after the polls.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed last October that 7.2 mil­lion new voters or 76.5 percent are young people between ages 18 -34 years. Of these, 3.8 million or 40.8 percent are students.

In a statement issued in La­gos, CAPPA said that the determi­nation of the tertiary institutions to proceed with normal academ­ic activities during the elections would constitute a violation of the rights of students to partic­ipate in the election processes as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitu­tion as amended.

The CAPPA statement reads: “It will be unfortunate that af­ter the gruesome exercise of registering and collecting their PVCs, many Nigerian students in higher learning institutions across the country will miss the opportunity to cast their votes.

“While we acknowledge the impact of the prolonged strike by members of ASUU on the aca­demic calendars of many higher learning institutions across the country, and the pressure there­fore by teaching authorities to cover lost grounds – prompting school authorities to schedule exams and important classes on the week and eve of election days, we insist that students must be allowed to exercise their civic responsibility to vote, as educa­tion and democracy are closely connected.”

Source: Independent Newspaper & Nigerian Tribune

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