…tells NASS to stay clear of ongoing investigation
Coalition of Civil Society Against Corruption on Thursday urged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, to up their game by wading into the financial scam at the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS even as they urged the House of Representative not to get involved in the pending allegations against the NHIS helmsman, Prof. Usman Yusfu, in order to move the country forward.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, the spokesperson of the coalition, Comrade Raji Rasheed Oyewumi also advised the suspended Executive Secretary of NHIS to tow the path of honour by submitting himself to the administrative investigation panel on the case of corruption against his person.
Oyewumi said:”We are disturbed by the torrents of unfolding events and mind-blowing revelations of corrupt practices in all key sectors of our national life. We are undoubtedly optimistic that if this ongoing drive against corruption is sustained, our country will no longer be a safe haven for looters. The present administration is dedicated to eradicating corruption from our country and as such, people that work with this administration should be part of this vision. Everybody should know their limitations and work according to their limitations; you cannot be a law maker and be an executive at the same time.’’
Likening the suspension of Prof. Usman Yusuf to that of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Engr David Babachir Lawal, he said: “We therefore admonish the suspended NHIS helmsman to tow the path of honour, by submitting himself to the administrative investigative panel which has the backing of the federal government and relevant government agencies.
Oyewumi said the EFCC should subject all culprits, after investigation processes are concluded, to the dictates of the laws for adequate punishment.
“Nobody should be seen to be above the law of the land irrespective of their political affiliation, religious and tribal inclination, We also call on the acting president to comb all other agencies on the government and ignite the passion for constructive restructuring and reviewing of the NHIS, as just about two per cent of Nigerians are enrolled, compared to 75 per cent obtained in U.S.
He said the Federal Government needs to see the ongoing crisis as matter of national importance to reassure Nigerians of it its aim to providing easy access to healthcare at an affordable cost through an effective prepayment system.
“Government also needs to review the processes of engagement and conditions of service of all HMOs in Nigeria to achieve progress in the MHS act.’’
Corroborating his views, National Coordinator, Concerned Human Rights, Comrade Declan Ihekaire, advised the National Assembly not to be agents of intimidation but listened to the Nigerians masses and do their biddings.
“The NHIS boss, Yusuf has been suspended to face a particular panel investigating some allegations levelled against him. Rather than going to answer the questions levelled against him, he has gone to the NASS to seek refuge.
Our NASS should not be seen as gradually becoming agents of intimidation against offices and officers that whistle-blow against certain individuals. Yusuf has been suspended and the NASS is saying that he should be reinstated without finding out what has transpired.
Ihekaire stressed: “We are saying no to that; we are saying that whoever is accused or alleged of anything, once you are a public officer, you should on your own, without force, submit yourself to investigation.
When you are cleared, you are cleared, but what we find out is that hardly does anyone of them step down as it is done in other parts of the world. It is wrong.’’