Tension brewed at the headquarters of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as two rival protesters bicker over the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, Prof. Yusuf Usman.
Protesters under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, (ASCSN), led by Branch Chairman, Mr. Razak Omomeji vowed not to resume in their offices adding that the President should take a critical look at the allegations level against him and reverse his reinstatement.
According to him " we are corroborating the fact that Prof. Usman Yusuf has a case to answer before Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Our members have been invited even by ICPC and we want them to come up with their own comprehensive reports. The President did not know what this man has committed. We trust the President; we believe him and we appreciate him. If he appoints a dog tomorrow to head this place we will take it "
He explained that there is a missing link on the reinstatement of Yusuf adding that some of the staffs that have gone to testify before the anti-graft agencies have been marked as whistleblowers and ready to victimize them.
The protesters called on the Head of Service of the Federation to apply the civil service rules, which stipulates that a civil servant cannot remain in the office when he/she has a case to answer before any anti-graft agency.
Omomeji, who vowed that the staff would continue the protest until Usman was removed, said: “Yusuf has bastardized the scheme and his return would only worsen affairs at the agency".
As the protesters were chanting anti-government songs the rival protesters under the aegis of Unity Group and Concerned NHIS Staff arrived the premises of the building wielding placards with various inscriptions in support of the embattled secretary.
Addressing journalists, the leader of the group, Dr.Uchenna Ewelike said that Yusuf's appointment was to sanitize the decayed and inefficient system in the organization. He noted that the protesting members of the union are beneficiaries of the rot in the system and resistant to change.
"We all know that Prof. Usman Yusuf has already brought to bear his expertise and wealth of experience acquired over the years, home and abroad to address the lingering problems of the scheme. We must all, therefore, give him all necessary support he may require to achieve this mandate for the benefit of all" Ewelike noted.
But the union has described the pro-Yusuf Protesters as hired thugs who are not the staff of the scheme.
The police who were drafted to forestall law and order stayed aloof while the protesters continue with their songs.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, following an indictment by an administrative panel, which found him culpable of mismanaging NHIS funds, totaling N919 million and gross insubordination, had suspended Usman from office.