Following protest by the students of the College of Health Technology, Ningi, over the death of a fellow student, supposedly of cholera, the Bauchi State government on Wednesday directed an indefinite closure of the institution to forestall a complete break down of law and order.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Sani Abubakar Malami, made available to newsmen yesterday in Bauchi said the closure became necessary following a riot orchestrated by a handful of the students of the institution to protest the death of a fellow student, supposedly of cholera.
“Unfortunately what began as a peaceful protest was hijacked by miscreants who seized the opportunity to molest and terrorize law-abiding commuters on the Bauchi-Ningi-Kano highway. This is totally unacceptable and we condemn the abominable act in the strongest terms.
“I have therefore directed the authorities of the institution to conduct a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident,” the statement read in part.
The commissioner added that he was aware of speculations in certain quarters that the welfare of the students of the college was not receiving the attention it deserved, saying that this was far from the truth.
According to Dr Malami, the institution had three functional boreholes to supply enough water to all the students, adding that the college had the best school clinic in the whole state.
The institution, he added had enough water system and VIP toilets to cater for all the staff and students, while students’ food was being prepared in the most hygienic condition that met the highest safety standards.
The statement expressed surprise at how students of the institution could have acquired cholera, adding that, “as a matter of fact, up till this moment, there is no laboratory confirmation that we are dealing with an outbreak of cholera in the CHT, Ningi.
“Nevertheless, we have strengthened our surveillance and epidemiological processes in and around Ningi town.
It appears to us that the index case (dead student) acquired the infection either from a recent journey or through contact with people from outside Ningi.
“We would, therefore, sustain the ongoing extensive public enlightenment to protect other members of the public. Similarly, His Excellency the Governor has directed the line Ministries to spare no effort in arresting the situation and provide additional sources of water and sanitary disposal of waste in the institution.”
While condoling the family of the deceased student and praying for the repose of his soul, the commissioner, however, appealed to members of the public to exercise maximum restraint and show understanding.