Ahead of the February 25 and March 11, 2023 general elections, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian Salami, has called on Nigerians to be patriotic in exercising their franchise.
Salami made the call in a statement she personally signed and addressed to staff and students of the institution on Wednesday, a copy of which was made available to CAMPUS GIST, in Benin City.
CAMPUS GIST reports that the federal government recently approved the closure of varsities across the country from February 22 to March 14, 2023 to enable staff and students to participate in the elections.
In the statement, Prof. Salami urged citizens to remember their responsibilities from obeying the laws, voting and carrying the mantle of tolerance and remain patriotic during and after the polls.
“Being a patriotic citizen takes more than just obeying the laws. It entails being an active participant in your community, treating others with respect, and working to make the world a better place for all,” she said.
The UNIBEN VC called on Nigerians to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand their perspectives, even if it differs from theirs; while praying for a peaceful poll.
Read the statement below;
My Dear Staff and Students of our great Institution, the University of Benin,
I bring you warm greetings and hope this letter finds you well.
I also believe that our lecturers are doing their best to impart the best of knowledge to our dear students and the students being the best that they possibly can.
As you prepare to head home to observe and participate in the impending national elections, I share a few thoughts with you.
It is important to remember your responsibilities as citizens of this great country – starting from obeying the laws, voting and carrying the mantle of tolerance. I urge you to exemplify all that it means to be patriotic citizens during the election period and always.
Being a patriotic citizen takes more than just obeying the laws. It entails being an active participant in your community, treating others with respect, and working to make the world a better place for all.
We pray for the fairest and most peaceful elections and ask that you comport yourselves with dignity.
Put yourselves in other people’s shoes and understand their perspectives, even if they differ from yours. It also means treating everyone with kindness and respect, regardless of their backgrounds, beliefs or persuasions.
I encourage you all to embrace these qualities and remain worthy citizens.
Remember that you have the power to make the difference and positive impact on the world, no matter how small it may seem.
As I say always, striving to be our best selves is the ultimate goal, whether you are on campus or outside the campus. Be a model representative of our great Institution. Together, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and those around us.
Finally, I commend the staff and entire students body for the peaceful Students’ Union elections which held yesterday (14th February). I congratulate those who were elected and others who were not. You are all winners and must work together in unity.
Be safe and we look forward to welcoming you back on campus in a few weeks.
Professor Lilian I. Salami,