There was a mild drama at the headquarters of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Abuja on Monday morning when the crack team of the Nigerian Police force dispersed the protesting members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and some supporters of the recently reinstated Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf.
The two contending groups of workers held separate protests on the premises.
But the policemen numbering almost 50 were deployed in the NHIS as early as 7.30am but later depleted in number.
While the unionists demanded Yusuf’s removal, some workers sympathetic to the NHIS boss accused the unionists of being unruly and being sponsored by corrupt elements who were against the reforms being implemented by Yusuf.
Addressing reporters at the NHIS, the leader of the union, Mr. Razq Omomeji, said some of the persons who had presented evidence against Yusuf at the EFCC were already being victimised.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove him so that the investigation would not be thwarted.
Omomeji said, “Prof. Usman Yusuf has a case to answer at the EFCC. Our members have been invited there. They got documents from us which we also gave to the ICPC. We love the President and even if he appoints a goat to lead us, we will accept it but this man’s case is different.
“Prof. Usman claims to be fighting corruption but his hands are soiled. Some of our colleagues have gone to present evidence against him before the EFCC and the ICPC. He has marked them as whistle-blowers and he now he intends to victimise them and we said no.
“We are calling on Yusuf to vacate his seat to enable the EFCC to do a though job. A lot has been given to the EFCC and the ICPC. They should make the report public.”
“The man is trying to manipulate records and cover his tracks. We want him to vacate his seat.”
The workers who supported Yusuf said only those who were in support of corruption were against Yusuf.
Mr. Uchenna Ewelike, who spoke on behalf of the workers, said they were not paid to support Yusuf but were acting with honest intentions.
Ewelike said, “We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to support this focused and result oriented leadership in NHIS under Prof. Usman Yusuf.
“We urge NHIS Staff to continue to discharge their normal duties without fear of intimidation and harassment by a faction of staff union.
“The National Unions of MHWN and ASCSN should caution the different factions of their local chapters in NHIS to order and advise them to re-channel their energy in helping the enrolees who are either poorly treated or denied access on regular basis.”