At least 30 students have been suspended by the management of the Borno State College of Nursing and Midwifery for refusing to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari when he visited the state on June 17.
A letter of suspension from the college to one of the students obtained by SaharaReporters showed that they were suspended for one week from June 21 to June 28 over the action.
The letter reads, “You are hereby suspended from the college for one week with effect from today 21st June 2021 for disobedience of executive order to welcome the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, GCON (on the 17th of June 2021).
“You are expected to report back to college on the 28th of June 2021 along with your parent or guardian.”
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a staff member of the school said about 30 students were affected.
“Thirty of the students were suspended, not one. I don’t know when it now became compulsory to go and greet the President in the sun. Even we staff members were forced to go and welcome him,” he said.
SaharaReporters had on June 17 reported that the state governor, Babagana Zulum, paid N350 million to mobilise the crowd for the visit of Buhari to the state.
It had been exposed that the governor considered the spending necessary to ensure that the Nigerian leader was not booed during his official visit to the state on Thursday.
SaharaReporters had reported that there were fears ahead of the President’s visit that he would be greeted by protesters or booed because of the insecurity in the state.
“It cost Zulum N350 million to mobilise the crowd they touted as Buhari’s supporters,” a source in Borno State government had told SaharaReporters.
“When President Buhari visited Lagos last week, they had to fly him over the city in a chopper because of a hostile crowd,” another source had added.
Governor Zulum had earlier urged residents to show appreciation to President Buhari during his visit.
The governor in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday gave reasons the people of the state should honour the President when he arrived in Maiduguri.
Borno is the epicentre of insurgency war in Nigeria.
The state has been at the end of incessant deadly attacks by terrorist groups–Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), and many residents have grown frustrated with the Buhari government.
Ahead of his election in 2015, Buhari promised to defeat Boko Haram but six years into his government, that promise has not been fulfilled.
In February 2020, residents of the state booed the President as his convoy drove in and when it was leaving Maiduguri, Borno State, during a condolence visit.
The residents were heard shouting in Hausa “Bama so, ka samu a kunya.” Meaning “We don’t want you, because you have disappointed us.”
Buhari, during his recent visit to Borno, however, said he was committed to serving Nigerians as a result of the love shown to him.