Students of Aliko Dangote College of Nursing Sciences, a Bauchi state owned health institution, have staged a peaceful protest on Monday.
The protesting students demanded that the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Ibrahim Kashim Mohammed should stop interfering in the affairs of the College, saying it is independent institution.
The protest is coming barely one week after students of Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic (ATAP) embarked on a violent protest.
The nursing students were however peaceful in their protest, blocking the Ran road and causing a halt of vehicular movement in to express their grievances.
They decried the incessant interference in the affairs of the College by the SSG.
According to the protesters, the SSG had continued to direct the affairs of the college from his office, adding that his actions were at the detriment of the Institution.
They alleged further that the office of the SSG recently directed for the reinstatement of the former Provost of the College, Rakiya Saleh as Acting Provost after the expiration of her tenure.
They said that the procedure followed in Saleh’s appointment did not follow due process considering the fact that based on the laws regulating the College, it is the Deputy Provost who should act until a substantive Provost is appointed expressing surprise at the turn of events.
They therefore declared that the appointment of Saleh as Acting Provost was unacceptable and demanded a reversal in order to allow the Deputy Provost, Mallam Haruna Burra to continue to act.
An official of the Nigeria Nurse Educators Union, Comrade Funmilayo Abubakar said that the the protest became inevitable because on several occasions when students had issues with the management to no avail.
“We will complain, organize ourselves but along the line, one among us will go by the side and ask the lecturers to sign against our meeting,” she said
“That was the reason I said, today I will never call any of them, I will join the students all along.
“The problem we have is that, her tenure expired on the 6th of July 2022, we therefore want due process to be followed in appointing a new Provost.
“We have a law guiding this College which says that when a tenure expires, an acting Provost will be appointed and it must be the Deputy Provost who should act”
She further narrated that indeed the Deputy Provost Mallam Haruna Burra was appointed as Deputy Provost and Saleh handed over to him.
“But to our greatest surprise, this morning we came to the school and we were told that, with due respect to the office of the SSG, we should leave sentiments aside, the SSG should leave us alone, this is not a political office, it is an institution,” Abubakar stressed.
“The SSG always interferes in our affairs and direct that they should reverse one thing or another, we are sick and tired of that, he should manage the political office he is appointed to manage, to manage political office holders.
“We are not saying that the Governing Council is not there, it is there to represent us but not allow us to do their work because everyday they interfere.
“As contained in the laws of the College, the position must be advertised for interested candidates, that is the due process which must be followed. Her tenure just finished this 6th July, why is the SSG giving instruction to the Head of Service when we are answerable to the Ministry of Health, he should allow them to do their job. We are sick and tired”
Speaking on the protest, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the College, Hamza Abubakar said that the situation has been brought under control as the students had gone back to their hostels.
“We were called for a meeting at the Ministry of Health this morning (Monday) and briefed that Rakiya Saleh, former Provost is coming back as the Acting Provost of the College based on a verbal directive from the office of the SSG. That is all I can tell you “.
The Deputy Provost, Mallam Haruna Burra said he was invited to a meeting at the Ministry of Health where he was verbally directed to handover back to Saleh as the Acting Provost based on a directive from the office of the SSG.
“I am a civil servant, and I am ready to obey directives,” he said.
“I am preparing my handover notes and, I will handover to her soon, in fact the only thing that is delaying me is the financial records because the development came suddenly”.
All efforts to get reaction from the former now Acting Provost, Rakiya Saleh proved abortive as her phone was switched off as of the time of filling the report.
Efforts to reach the SSG for his response failed as he neither picked the call placed to him by our reporter, nor did he reply the text message sent to him.