A former Nauru president, Sprent Dabwido, wants an end to the offshore processing of refugees on the island.
Mr Dabwido was responsible for the re-opening of the detention centres, in a deal with then Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, back in 2012.
SBS reported Mr Dabwido, who is now seeking asylum in Australia himself, said it was a deal he now regrets.
His comments came as he has been told by doctors in Australia that he may have just days to live because of throat cancer which has spread around his body.
Mr Dabwido said the original contract for the detention centres seemed to be a good policy but it had been changed over the years and is no longer what he signed.
Mr Dabwido said "it is time to end processing on Nauru".
"It is hurting Nauru as much as it is hurting Australia, it has turned my island upside down."