Usman Yusuf, former executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has described restructuring as a “big nonsense” which politicians plan to use to carve out their empires.
There have been calls and agitation for restructuring, which will grant more powers to the regions.
Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, anchored his campaign on restructuring
But interview with The Sun, the former NHIS boss said rather than adopt restructuring, the country needs a strong centre and a vibrant leader.
He cited recent happenings at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying it is a proof that restructuring would increase corruption and injustice.
“All these talks about restructuring, confederation; do you think they have impact in the life of the common man? It is just politicians who want to carve their own empires,” he said.
“When we were growing up, there were only 12 states in the federation, and then the minority tribes said it was the majority that was oppressing them; then another minority oppressing the minority of the minorities. All these divisions get us nowhere.
“Look at Niger Delta, look at what is happening in the NDDC, money we never knew existed, trillions, billions of Naira to clean up their land, build schools for their children, develop their area, was looted. There has never been any agency, any ministry that has been allocated this so much money.
“All these divisions- restructuring etc. are just nonsense, it is your own people that will cheat you. We need a strong centre, a leader that will shake things up; things are falling apart in this country… I tell people that the ordinary person has more power than he realises.
“He has the power to change the leadership; we cannot always wait and say, ‘because I don’t have money that is why I can’t do this or that’. No, you do have what it takes to make a change. You don’t want this leader, wait four years and be patient and get him out. That is what democracy is all about. Rotation, rotation, and how many times have we rotated. All these restructuring, rotation are big nonsense, not small nonsense.”
On insecurity in the country, Yusuf said soldiers should not be relied upon to solve the challenge because they are just one part of the solution.
The former NHIS ES asked governors to adopt local solutions in tackling insecurity.
“Unless we address local problems, soldiers cannot solve insecurity for us. Soldiers didn’t solve insecurity problem in Niger Delta, soldiers will not solve Boko Haram problem, and they will not solve banditry problem, soldiers are just one part of the solution,” he said.
“We have to involve everybody and make them understand why you have this problem. The government understood why there was Niger Delta agitation because there was inherent injustice; you were getting oil from people and polluting their land.
“So, President Umaru Yar’Adua had to sit, understand and listen. What is happening in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a shame, after all that the nation went through and Yar’Adua did, and yet, some people are cheating their own people. So, insecurity cannot be solved by soldiers coming from Abuja, it is a local problem; soldiers are just there to put off the flame.”