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Elections: Closure of universities illegal, says Afe Babalola

THE Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, has condemned the closure of all universities in Nigeria by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, as directed by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed.

Babalola noted that the Education Minister has no statutory power to direct the NUC to close down the universities, adding that the forced closure of the universities has done irreparable damage to students of Nigerian universities.

Babalola made the remarks in his address during the fifth induction ceremony of 123 medical doctors who recently graduated at ABUAD, held at the Alfa Belgore Hall of the institution in Ado Ekiti, yesterday.

According to Babalola: “The problems have been worsened by [the] scarcity of money by banks and automated teller machines, ATMs, all of which [made] transportation back home more dangerous than ever before.

“Under the NUC Act of 1974 and the Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act of 1985, the minister has no statutory power to issue a directive to NUC to close down universities. I refer in particular to Section 4(2) of the 1974 (NUC) Act.

“If you want to destroy a nation, you don’t need bayonets, bombs or nuclear warheads. All you need is to destroy the education of the nation.

“The illegal closure has adversely affected the curriculum, particularly in respect of private universities which are reputed for their predictable academic calendar and absence of strike actions.”

Babalola pointed out that Nigeria has the Criminal Code and other legislations that the government and law enforcement agents can invoke to deal with any person, whatever his class, who security agents have reasons to believe is likely to put the security of staff, students and properties of respective institutions in jeopardy.

Babalola further pointed out that the problem that is causing apprehension among transactional politicians is the 1999 Constitution.

“It is this constitution that has made politics the only lucrative business in Nigeria today. This is responsible for the orgy of do-or-die politics,” he said.

The Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, Dr T.A.B. Sanusi, inducted the 123 medical doctors from ABUAD into the medical profession.

The induction for the 2022 graduating set was the fifth induction ceremony of the MBBS programme of the institution.

In her speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Smaranda Olarinde, said this year’s induction is particularly significant as a 100 per cent pass was recorded for the new medical doctors.

Prof Olarinde noted that 22 of the doctors had distinctions at various levels of professional examinations.

“I must sincerely commend Miss Okafor Ginika Stephanie, for her outstanding performance with eight distinctions out of the available 11 and Miss Ikuabe Mary-Ann with seven distinctions. Izunobi Somtochukwu, Modilum Kenechukwu and Okafor Chinaza led their male counterpart with four and two distinctions respectively,” she reeled out.

The VC charged the new doctors to constantly remember that they are ambassadors of the institution and to always uphold the code of conduct of the medical and dental council of Nigeria.

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