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College student suspended for not greeting Buhari in Borno

Astudent of College of Nursing and Midwifery, Maiduguri has been suspended by the institution for failing to greet President Muhammadu Buhari during his one day working visit to Borno State last week.

Mr Buhari had last Thursday visited Borno State in the wake of insurgency rocking the North-East region.

On his arrival at the airport in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, the state governor Babagana Zulum and other top government officials came out to receive the President.

Students were also lined up for the welcoming ceremony as they joined military and paramilitary officers to welcome the president at the Operation Hadin Kai headquarters.

However, in a suspension notice signed by the provost of the institution, Rukaiya Shettima, and seen by Peoples Gazette on Thursday, the institution explained that it suspended the student for disobeying an executive order to welcome the president during his visit last week.

The student who was suspended on Monday, June 21 was asked to report back at the college on June 28 2021 with parents or guardian for the suspension to be lifted.

“You are hereby suspended from the college for one week with effect from today 21st of June 2021 for disobedience of executive order to welcome the President of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, GCON (on 17th of June 2021),” the suspension notice read.

State clampdown on the freedom and rights of students have become rife under the Buhari regime.

Peoples Gazette had earlier reported how Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai banned Kaduna State University (KASU) students from protesting against the institution’s school fees hike, forcing parents to sign expulsion undertakings.

Speaking on this development to The Gazette, legal analyst, Festus Ogun, argued that patriotism should be earned not demanded.

Mr Ogun said the suspension contravenes a provision of section 34 and section 35 that guarantees citizen’s right to liberty and right to dignity.

“Patriotism is a matter of choice not a matter of law; patriotism is earned not demanded. You cannot force a student to show solidarity to a president that has recklessly failed the Nigerian people. It is unheard of that a citadel of learning is criminalising a student’s right to liberty,” Mr Ogun said.

“By the virtue of section 35 of the Nigerian constitution, all individuals in this country, both citizens and non-citizens, are entitled to the constitutional rights of liberty. So whether the president is coming or not the student might want to show and he might not want to show, that is at his own discretion that is his own liberty. It is just tyranny taken too far. I consider it an abomination in a constitutional democracy, I condemn it in its entirety and we are really saying that look, the constitution will be held accountable in the fullness of time,” he added.

Further condemning the suspension, Mr Ogun said that punishing the student is another way of punishing a citizen for not showing love to a president that has failed