This crisis rocking the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is far from being over as workers of the agency have been polarised by the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf.
Unlike last Thursday when anti-Yusuf workers grounded activities at the corporate headquarters of the agency, the whole thing took a new twist as some workers rooting for the embattled chief executive countered their colleagues, on Monday.
Yusuf on his part played a smart one as he was said to have resumed office at about 6am, probably to avoid any form of embarrassment from the protesting workers.
While the drama ensued, armed policemen were on ground to prevent breakdown of law and order.
Yusuf was reinstated through a presidential directive dated February 5th, 2018, despite facing allegations of misconduct by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
His resumption did not go down well with some section of the workers who vowed to continue the protest until his reinstatement is reversed.
The workers under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and the Joint Health Sector Union called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the reinstatement, which according to them is a smear on the administration’s anti-graft war.
The anti-Yusuf group claimed that the embattled Executive Secretary ought to stay away from office until he was cleared by the anti-corruption agencies, but their rivals said the president had not committed any offence by reinstating him
Uchenna Ewelike, who spoke for the concerned staff in support of the reinstatement, said Yusuf’s investigation was unlawful, did not follow due process and should be discontinued.
Addressing newsmen on the premises of the agency, Ewelike said it is not the duty of staff to demand for who presides over them rather the work of the workers union is to fight for the welfare of staff.
He also claimed that the protest against the NHIS boss was as a result of the reform being carried out under his watch.
Ewelike also assured his colleagues that none of those that went to the anti-graft agencies to testify against the NHIS boss would be victimized.
However, the anti-Yusuf faction led by the Chairman of the NHIS arm of the union, Razaq Omomeji, vowed that the protests would continue until Buhari reversed Yusuf’s reinstatement.
“NHIS is one, we are one family. I hope I am speaking for all of us? Immediately this man came, he came on the will of ethnicity; he came on the will of religion. We want to put it on record that as our national president had issued a press statement, we stay with that statement. The President needs to revisit this case; and since we know that the case of Prof. Yusuf is being investigated by the EFCC, please, the President should wait for the outcome of this investigation.
“This Mainagate, this Yusufgate is causing untold hardship on this APC administration. Please APC, this is our government, we want them to maintain the toga of anti-corruption”, he stated.
Also, Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), NHIS Branch, Olawuyi Kayode declined to reveal their next line of action should government fail to heed their call for reversal of the reinstatement.
“We will not disclose our next line of action; we know what to do if the government would want to insist on reinstating him. This is a trade union action. We believe that the government knows the right thing to do and they will do it”, Kayode stated.
By Ajansii Mgbo …
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