By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The National Conscience Party (NCP) has called on the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the faceoff between the health minister and the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf.
In a statement signed by the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Waheed Lawal, the NCP urged Osinbajo to order the immediate arrest of Prof. Yusuf for daring the health minister by refusing to go on suspension..
Waheed said that it was wrong for the suspended NHIS boss to challenge a constituted authority and to still be parading himself as the Executive Secretary of the insurance body.
“My strong belief in the Nigeria’s democratic process enables me to speak against tyranny, wanton disregard for established authority and unrepentant rigidity for corrupt tendencies.
“This is especially as the voice of the poor citizens of our country as regards the manipulative tactics at the NHIS office has been persistent,” he said.
The NCP national executive member also chided the House of Representatives for their involvement in the ongoing faceoff.
He said that position of the House of Reporesetatives by backing the NHIS boss amounted to inconsistency and incoherence of a chamber of dual personalities.
“The suspension of the NHIS executive secretary is following a precedence which remains one of the best approaches to fight the scourge of corruption.
“We, and even the green chamber all applauded the suspension of the secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir David Lawal.
“As such, why are the lawmakers pushing for the recall of Yusuf who should by now be answering questions from the constituted investigative panel on over 72 petitions received so far, bothering on financial impropriety, gross misconduct and flagrant disregard for the civil service rules and the procurement act,” he queried.
Waheed therefore called on Acting President Osinbajo to act swiftly in order to convince Nigerians about the sincerity of purpose of the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the anti – corruption crusade.
He said that Osinbajo’s stance should be to wage war against any cabal that may be backing the suspended NHIS boss.
Yusuf was ordered by the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole to proceed on three months suspension to pave way for an investigation following petitions written against him.
However, in a letter dated July 12, 2017 Usman gave reason for his inability to comply with the directive.
According to him, under the Act setting up the scheme, the appointment and removal of the executive secretary is at the instance of the President.
“Except removed from office by the President under the circumstances specified in the NHIS Act, my appointment is for a period of five years.
“This is subject to a further term of the same period at the discretion of the President,’’ according to the letter obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria