Tinubu promises to increase the length of university education from four to eight years

On Thursday, Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), vowed to increase the length of university education in Nigeria from the current four years to eight years, arguing that he deserves to be elected in order to fulfill this promise.

“Those of you in school, write it down,” Mr. Tinubu said to Nigerian youth during a campaign stop in Osogbo on Thursday afternoon. “Call me a bastard if you spend more than eight years in school. You will be in school for eight years.”

Mr. Tinubu’s remarks may be seen as callous in a country where the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other tertiary education organisations have often gone on strike, causing needless delays in academic years.

With the exception of highly specialized studies like law and medicine, which require five and six years of university study, respectively, Mr. Tinubu’s promise represents a departure from traditional academic programs in Nigerian universities, which run typically four years.

Social media users in Nigeria have reacted negatively to the comment, adding fuel to the fire of those who believe Mr. Tinubu should be disqualified from running for president because his declining health has affected his mental capacity.

A campaign spokeswoman for Mr. Tinubu did not respond to requests for comment on whether or not his remarks had been misinterpreted.

In recent months, Mr. Tinubu has made remarks that seemed to belittle Nigerian youth. He promised to draft 50 million young Nigerians into the military while campaigning for the ruling party’s presidential nomination, claiming they would thrive on a diet of corn, cassava, and other farm produce while protecting the country.

The military infrastructure of his country, however, is widely acknowledged to be among the most antiquated in the world. He did not explain how his proposal would assist update this situation.

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