After days of rumours and anxiety, the Minister of Health, Prof. Adenike Grange resigned her office with this statement:
“I am leaving this cabinet because I consider my dignity, reputation and legacy -values that I have worked hard for and hold dearly. I am returning to my unblemished career which I have assiduously laboured for over the years with resounding success nationally and internationally and to the business of which I am familiar with – saving the lives of mothers and children across Nigeria and the world in general ~ Adenike Grange ."
It all started on Sunday the 2nd of March when Martins Oloja of The Guardian published a story that a female minister...in a ministry with an architect as Minister of State had been arrested....put 2 and 2 together
On the 3rd of March, THISDAY reported that it was confirmed that The Health Minister, Prof. Adenike Grange, who was arrested last Thursday on the orders of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua over the handling of unspent funds in the 2007 budget.
On the 14th of March it was picked up by the Scientific press, when SciDev one of the most respected scientific journals when they reported that Nigerian health ministry was dogged by fund misuse claims — as a 'Christmas bonus'.
On the 15th of March The Independent reported on the details of how officials at the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja intended sharing the unspent funds, totaling N300million in its possession prior to passage of the current budget has been revealed.
On the 18th of March, The Punch reported that Dr Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health was named as one of the beneficiaries of the unspent budget of the health ministry, allegedly shared by ministry officials and senators.
Finally, on the 26th of March it is announced by the Special Adviser on Communication to the President that the Ministers have resigned. A detailed account by The Guardian can be found here.
Thisday reports that Professor Grange has insisted that while she has accepted responsibility for what happened during her brief tenure, she was not accepting guilt ...
It is no secret that we were excited about Prof Adenike Grange on this blog...obvious from this post, this one and especially this one...at the Lancet Lecture.
There is obviously deep seated corruption in the health ministry. It is especially sad that public servants and Senators from the supervisory Committee on Health could be sharing money when millions are dying from lack of access to life saving drugs, lack of necessary equipment at public hospitals and incessant strikes by under-paid health professionals.
It is indeed sad that Prof. Grange has paid the price, BUT THE BUCK ENDS ON HER TABLE.
Prof. Grange now faces the challenge of clearing her name... when she does...we hope she shares her experience of being introduced to the turbulent corrupt world of the Ministry of Health from the quietude of a teaching hospital.
...and Nigeria faces a BIGGER challenge of looking for a credible, honest, capable, forthright individual to give health of Nigerians the attention it deserves.
...therein lies the challenge!