What Is Wrong In Suspending A Government Official To Give Room For Investigation?

Prof. Usman Yusuf

By Adewole Kehinde

With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt”. Zig Ziglar

It is no longer news that the Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf have been asked by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole to proceed on three months suspension with immediate effect.

The news was broken to the media on Friday by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health.

What brought about my reaction to the suspension was the hullabaloo on the social media about the suspension.

The press release by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health is simple and straight forward:

The suspension was as a result of various allegations and petitions against Prof. Yusuf; an investigative committee to look in the various allegations in accordance with the Public Service Rules has been set up and the suspension was also to allow for uninterrupted investigation.

Some section of the social media are saying that the Minister does not have power to suspend the Prof. Yusuf but they forgot that the same Prof. Yusuf is serving the public and he must abide by the Public Service Rules which empowers the Honourable Minister to suspend any officers under his Ministry through the advise of the Permanent Secretary in such Ministry.

My investigations before the suspension shows that the NHIS Workers Union are not in good term with the Executive Secretary, Prof. Yusuf from day one. According to many Union members interviewed, the Executive Secretary has been working against the set objectives of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

I am appealing to the general public especially those hired to do the dirty hatchet job against the suspension on social media to take time in carrying out investigation before concluding on issues.

The Executive Secretary was not sacked but suspended and he has been given the room to defend himself through the investigative committee set up, so I expect those criticizing the suspension to rather follow up on the activities of the Investigative Panel to get a comprehensive report on the allegations raised against Prof Yusuf.

Prof. Yusuf is not the first government appointee to be suspended in Nigeria and he will not be the last to be suspension.

On a final note, I will also appeal to staff of the agency to be law abiding and safeguard all government properties including valuable documents in the agency so as not to jeopardise the investigation.

Adewole Kehinde is a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja. kennyadewole@gmail.com

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