Nigeria: ‘Bandits Have Direct Lines of Northern Governors’, Ex-Health Insurance Boss Claims

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A former executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme on Wednesday said bandits terrorising northern Nigeria have the direct lines of the governors in the region.

While speaking on insecurity in Nigeria, Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was a guest on Arise TV’s The Morning Show Wednesday described politicians in the country as being worst than bandits who loot the country and provide guns for northern youths to rig elections and dump them afterward.

According to Mr. Yusuf, negotiations between state governors and bandits are “the governors of the states importing from the bandits and a sign of failure in governance.”

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Mr. Yusuf said who appeared on ARISE News said in some instances, governors of the states buy cattle for the bandits and even give them money as ways of pacifying them.

“Many of these bandits have direct lines to these governors, calling them. I know Nasir el-Rufai refused to negotiate with them. The governors negotiate with them, they buy them cattle, they buy them birds, it is all signs of failure of governance from the centre to the states.

“We are negotiating with bandits and giving them the money of the people they are killing,” the Professor of haematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation said.

He added, “you know there are two or three types of bandits, there are bandits in the forest that carry arms and we have a lot of bandits in government.

“All those people that loot people’s money are worse than bandits. All those politicians that loot the people money are worse than bandits and they winning elections.”

Mr. Yusuf said the insecurity being experienced in the country is a result of the enmeshed corruption and bad governance.

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“It is politicians that imported tramadol to these kids to make them their political thugs. They give them arms all across the country, politicians give thugs arms and when they are done with them, they dump them.

“These kids have the guns, they become bandits and thugs and cultists and armed robbers, so yes there are bandits stealing our money and there are bandits getting our money ransomed,” he said.