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Buhari vows to deal with criminals as FG officially declares bandits as terrorists




PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has promised to exercise the full strength of the military to flush out bandits in the North – West region of the country.

He revealed this in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday while extolling the efforts of his government to decimate terrorist activities in the North-East region.

“We labelled them (bandits) terrorists, and are we are going to deal with them as such. So, I think the only language they understand – we have discussed it thoroughly with the law enforcement agencies. The service chiefs, the inspector general of police are to go after the terrorists.”

He said there had been successes in the fight against banditry in the North-East, stating that he had had a series of meetings with heads of security agencies in a bid to tackle the issues.

“And I believe if you go to constituencies in the North-West and North-Central in the last four weeks, there are improvements in the security

“If you ask anybody from Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, they will tell you that  before I got into office, there were 18 local governments that were in the hands of Boko Haram, but right now, there is none in their control so we have done something,” he said.

In another development, the Federal Government officially declared bandits as terrorists hours before President Buhari’s interview.

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) gazetted a court judgement that ordered the government to declare bandits as terrorists.

On November 25, a federal high court in Abuja had declared the activities of all bandit groups in the country as acts of terrorism.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists.

However, Spokesperson of the AGF Umar Gwandu announced the release of the gazette on Wednesday evening.

“Notice is hereby given that by the Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1370/2021 dated 25th November 2021 as per the schedule to this notice, the activities of Yan Bindiga Group, Yan Ta’adda Group and other similar groups in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the North-West and North-Central regions of Nigeria and are proscribed, pursuant to sections I and 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention)Act, 2011.

“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the groups referred to in paragraph 1 of this Notice will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 201 and liable to prosecution.

“This Notice shall be cited as the Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2021,” the gazette read.

Author profile

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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