By Victor Ajihromanus
A coalition of youth groups from northern part of Nigeria under the umbrella of Vanguard for Good Governance and Quality Leadership (VGGQL), has carpeted the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof. Usman Yusuf for criticizing the manner some state governments are managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) challenges.
The coalition said having been relieved of his appointment as Executive Secretary of NHIS in July 2019, following reports from two different probe panels, Prof. Yusuf has no moral grounds to speak on quality leadership having performed woefully he was given the opportunity to serve.
In a communiqué issued after a teleconference, the coalition said, but for the lockdown order on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it would have carried out a protest against the former NHIS boss.
Signed by its National Coordinator , Abdulaziz Haruna Idris and National Secretary, Bitrus Daniel Amuda, VGGQL said at a time of unprecedented challenge which has affected both developed and developing nations, government and the citizens await encouraging words from men and women of exemplary character and not unnecessary alarm.
The communique reads:”The coalition of youth groups from northern Nigeria under the umbrella of Vanguard for Good Governance and Quality Leadership (VGGQL) wishes to express concern that Prof. Usman Yusuf is making uniformed statements about the management of Covid-19 in the country.
“Our coalition would like to recall that Prof. Usman Yusuf was Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a position that afforded him the opportunity to improve the quality of primary healthcare in the country. But rather than provide quality service to the nation and earn an enviable place in history, Yusuf did nothing remarkable.
“He was first accused of fraud and related infractions to the tune of N919million. The then minister for health Isaac Adewale set up a ministerial panel which indicted him and recommended for his dismissal. But the minister suspended him. President Buhari later recalled him to the position.
“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation had to set up a new panel of inquiry which after investigations recommended his dismissal; and he was consequently removed by President Buhari in July 2019.
“ It is therefore unfortunate that he is criticizing other leaders who are doing their best to defeat the global challenge of coronavirus which is currently devastating communities in Europe, America and other developed countries of the world.
“It may not be farfetched to say that Prof. Yusuf, thinking that Nigerians have forgotten his recent history is seeking to draw the attention of Mr. President for a new appointment. We, therefore, urge Mr. President to ignore him.”
Among the groups that made up the coalition are Middle Belt Youths for Transparency in Government (MGTG); Watchdog for Progress of Northern Nigeria (WPNN); Progressive Youths of the North (PYN) and Arewa Boys for Inspirational Leadership (ABIL).