This Impunity At The NHIS

Nigeria News takes a look at the high level of impunity as shown by the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf.

The attitude of the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf on Monday has further exposed the high level of impunity in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

It is irritating that a suspended public official would force himself into the office and nothing had happened to him 24 hours after.

Yusuf told the Governing Board of the NHIS that suspended him to go to hell, adding that nobody except President Buhari who appointed him had the right to suspend him.

He promised to resume for work despite the suspension order. Yusuf did on Monday in grand style as his security aides teargassed other members of staff who never wanted him at NHIS again.

As a matter of fact, the suspended NHIS boss was led into his office by Nigeria police officer. It was a scene of impunity at the highest level in a government that carries the slogan of anti-corruption.

Recalled that in February this year, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole suspended Yusuf after the NHIS was found culpable of some financial misconduct by an investigative panel set up by the ministry.

Yusuf grudgingly obeyed the suspension order but was reinstated shortly by Buhari. The minister was notified by a letter from the presidency while a statement was released by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu that the embattled NHIS had been reinstated.

It was gathered that President Buhari did not even look at the report that indicted Yusuf before asking him to be reinstated. Yusuf was asked to go back to his duty post with the instruction to work closely with the health minister.

A similar scenario played out, when the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu accused the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru of illegal awards of contracts.

Baru easily defused the matter, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari knew about it. Kachikwu who happened to be the Chairman of the NNPC Governing Board knew nothing about the awarded contracts.

The presidency later described the allegation as a bureaucratic flaw as it directed the minister and the NNPC GMD to work in harmony henceforth.

Since then, no noise has emanated from the NNPC. Somebody must have compromised his stance to allow peace to reign.  

Nigerians waited till eternity, expecting that President Buhari would make a pronouncement on the NNPC alleged fraud, no simple statement was made.

Twice it has happened that Buhari’s appointed ministers have been disgraced by their subordinates in the ministries. The president will rather keep silent or defend immoral acts.

Yusuf has made it clear that he is answerable only to Mr President. This is a government that claims it is fighting corruption. The point was clearly made and Nigerians are waiting for Mr President to act now.

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Sunday AKINFENWA

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