President Buhari, Prof. Yusuf and the nation

February 12th, 2018

By Tajudeen A. Tijjani

The recent report in some newspapers including the Blueprint that President Muhammadu Buhari has used a presidential order to reinstate one Professor Yusuf to his former post is a great indictment on this government. Many of us are agape that President Muhammadu Buhari whom we have followed his antecedents for over forty years as a patriot and nationalist has suddenly changed to a tribal champion. Many things have taken place under this administration that one wonder whether the retired general we all placed our hope on for a better future for this nation is the same person whom the whole Nigerians beckoned at in 2015 to come and lead us from an inept government.

When many were complained about the shoddy appointment in his government which is a family affair, some of us including this 71 years old writer defended the action at the risk of our lives believing and still believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is a just leader. In that context arises a series of questions such as – how much does the President believe that under his nose and sometimes with his permission certain things are committed with a great impunity.

However, one incident that for all times will remain in the minds of Nigerians is some of the action and inaction of President on many national issues. The present situation where citizens are treated differently under this dispensation calls for quick action and sober reflection. Why would certain part of the country not ask for what they described as restructuring when the present administration of President Buhari has embarked on what some people perceived as one sided and abuse of power?

Of particular significance is the case of a man who claimed to be a Professor and was given an appointment by the Federal Government where he was allegedly found wanting by his supervisor. Professor Uman Yusuf was appointed into public office as the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and along the line; he was accused of gross misconduct while on duty. While the supervisory Federal Ministry of Health suspended him, the man went berserk and insulted the office of the Minister saying all sort of things that only President Buhari can suspend him over the allegations which indicted him of wrong doings – ranging from nepotism to theft of public funds.

Unfortunately, President Buhari played into the hands of some tribal champion from his state of origin (Katsina) to re-instate the embattled Professor without any consideration for the report of the ministerial panel. The President may not know that during his absence for a medical check-up, the Professor has boastfully told those who are ready to listen that the Minister cannot do him anything whatever are the alleged offences. President Buhari should revisit the ministerial panel report over the Professor’s short and sad tenure at the NHIS, his alleged involvement of diverting NHIS allocation to an individual business in Kaduna. Again in your absence, the Professor turned what is merely an official thing to tribal issue by calling the erudite Professor and Minister of Health, Professor Adewole unprintable names and used his cohorts who told us that the President is only for them and they could go away with anything they like.

President Buhari should urgently rescind the order to reinstate Professor Usman Yusuf, looking into the panel report and act accordingly. Professor Usman Yusuf is not above the law and should respect a constituted authority. The action of President Muhammadu Buhari as reported in many newspapers may bring disrepute to his government from all fronts where acts of indiscipline like that of Professor Usman Yusuf and others are tolerated. The time for Change is Now!

Finally, the reinstatement of Professor Usman Yusuf back to NHIS would create more problems for the organization and he should be made to leave the job and go back to where he belongs.

*Tijjani, a Veteran Journalist wrote from Kaduna.

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