They are strong indications that the Federal Government may order the closure of both private and public schools which allow for hitch-free elections in the forthcoming Presidential election.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau while speaking with newsmen announced on Saturday that all commissioners of Education have been summoned for an emergency meeting slated for Monday in Abuja. The minister however stated clearly that the government has not ordered the closure of schools nationwide as being speculated in some quarters.
At the emergency meeting, the Minister is expected to discuss with the commissioners on the possible closure of schools ahead of the forthcoming elections. This is as a result of the tension noticed in some cities ahead of the elections as communities fear a repeat of the 2011 post election violence which erupted in various parts of Nigeria.
“As far as the Federal Government is concerned, nobody has made any statement in respect of closure of schools during election. But we are also aware that there are agitation and questions and conflicting views. Some are agitating that schools should be closed and some are saying there is no need to close schools.
“So to address this issue, the ministry has already summoned a meeting with all the states commissioners for education and stakeholders in education for today, (Monday), in Abuja.
“We feel that we in the ministry should not just sit in the office and issue such directives. We will meet with all stakeholders in the states and look at the benefits and disadvantages of closing down schools. But I want to assure you that we are going to put the interest of the nation first.
“You remember when Nigeria had Ebola crisis, we deliberated on the issue before we made joint statement and it went well. So after that meeting, we would brief you on whether schools would be closed during election. We would also give you reasons why schools should be closed”, Shekarau stated.