The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to save his integrity by ensuring suspendedl Executive-Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, obeys the directive of the Scheme’s Governing Council to step aside from office to allow a probe panel conduct investigations into allegations of corruption leveled against him.
Director of Security Agency and Students Relations to the NANS president, Com Adeyeye Olugbenga, made the call on behalf of NANS president on Wednesday in Abuja, during a mass protest by workers and the students body, NANS.
According to him, the failure of President Buhari to make a categorical statement on the matter, was putting the Presidents intergrity at stake, to be harbouring a corrupt element in his administration, despite all the corroborative evidences that were making Yusuf culpable.
“We wanted to mobilize en masse today to the headquarters but at the instance of the National Assembly, we want to believe that they will do something about it. Despite that, we needed to register our presence here that we are totally against corruption.
“We know that the National Assembly is intervening, but in spite of that, we need to still make our presence known here that the struggle is sustained, that we are not backing out in trying to seek redress over the management of NHIS under the headship of Usman Yusuf.
“I am not saying the president is backing him, but I am calling on him to do the necessary thing, to swing into action. The voice of people is the voice of God. He knows the necessary action to take. Observers have the right to actually conclude by the president’s silence or indifference that probably, he is backing him. The president cannot remain on the fence, if he is not backing the man, he should be against corruption. That’s why we need categorical statement, body language from the president over this matter.
NANS called on the National Assembly to set up a committee to probe ES saying, “I believe that upon investigation, I know that many facts will still come up. A lot of revelations will still manifest.
“His (Yusuf) continued stay in office is illegal. He does not even have the moral ground to continue to stay in office because the people have rejected him, the system has rejected him. So, why will he continue to stay in a system that no longer trusts him? They’ve passed a vote of no confidence on him. How will he have that audacity to manage people who do not want to work with him?
“The reason our involvement is so significant is because almost all students are enrollees. We paid money from our hard-earned money to contribute into TISHIP (Tertiary Institutions Social Health Insurance Programme) And, since the assumption of office by this man, TISHIP has been in comatose. That’s why we are concerned. We’ve been laying a lot of complaints to. Thank God that it climaxed this way,” he said.
Meanwhile, an employee, Mohammad Gajo who said the Governing Council failed to back up its claim that the minister of health gave nod to the suspension with a letter, stressed that only President Buhari has the powers to suspend or sack Yusuf from office.
“A faction of the union couldn’t allow us to have peace at NHIS. Prof Usman has brought all his experience to bear to try and provide health care for all the people. The suspension, they claim they have the backing of the minister, but we have not seen any paper work. In public service, you need to see a paper work that says ‘I’m suspending you,’ we cannot work with the word of mouth,” he said.
Asked if the ES would quit if he receive a paper duly signed by the minister on his suspension, he said: “You see, president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appointed Yusuf, it is the president that will sack him. Suspension is relative to sack.
“People that were benefitting from the immediate past administration are the ones that are causing chaos. You see what I mean by corruption is fighting back? You don’t have the right to come and be creating havoc. They are the beneficiaries of corruption. That is it,” he said.