With teary eyes Monday, staff of the National Health Insurance Agency (NHIS) had to give way to allow suspended Executive Secretary Professor Usman Yusuf, into the office as the Police fired tear-gas at them and clear the barricades they made.
But it was not all staff that were opposed to Yusuf’s reporting to office. Some backed him as the Police escorted him into his office. They alleged his travails was corruption fighting back at Yusuf.
Yusuf made good his promise to show up at his desk today after staff told him not to since the board sent him home last week, for the second time in a year. He was alleged to have committed administrators and financial malfeasance by the board.
After his suspension last Thursday, Yusuf showed up the next day, insisting that since the President was his appointing authority, only he ccould suspend him.
Suspended last year by the supervising Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, Yusuf resumed on the strength of his alleged recall by President Muhammadu Buhari based on a motion by the House of Representatives.
Prof Yusuf arrived the premises of the headquarters of the Scheme with over 50 fully armed Mobile Policemen who broke the gate to the Headquarters as well as fired tear gas canisters to disperse staff members of the organisation that tried to prevent Yusuf from entry the NHIS premises.
It is not exactly clear who ordered for the Police to clear the angry workers of the agency who blocked his way, but accusing fingers are pointed in his direction, as staff bemoaned how the Executive Secretary “can be more powerful than the board and a minister.”
The Chairman of the governing board of the NHIS, Enantu Ifenna, announced Yusuf’s suspension at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
SHe said Yusuf was suspended over allegations of financial infractions levelled against him.
She also said the executive secretary had refused to carry out the board’s decisions on critical issues and institutionalised corruption at the agency.
She accused the ES of allegedly inflating the scheme’s 2018 budget, “fraudulently inflating the cost of biometric capturing machines”, and “attempt to illegally execute N30 billion in federal government bonds”.
The board also alleged that Yusuf carried out unauthorised staff travel “in defiance to council directive”, “superfluous arrogation of project vehicles” and added he has been insubordinate.
Ifenna added that one Sadiq Abubakar was to act as executive secretary of the scheme.