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Declare bandits federal civil servants if they can’t be tagged terrorists, Sani tells FG

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FORMER Nigerian lawmaker Shehu Sani has urged the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to declare bandits as federal civil servants if they can’t be described as terrorists. 

“If the Government doesn’t want to declare them terrorists, it should declare them federal civil servants,” he said in a tweet on Monday.

He lamented the unabated and indiscriminate killings of both Muslims and Christians in the northern part of the country by the terrorists, noting that the suspension of telecommunication services in parts of the region was yielding no fruit.

“They killed Muslim worshipers in their mosques in Niger and Katsina state; they killed Christians in their Churches in Kaduna state.

“The yesterday’s attacks on the Baptist Church Kakau Daji, Kaduna state by terrorists, the killing of some worshippers and the abductions of scores of others is tragic and unfortunate. The suspension of the telecom services in the North is useless.”

As the country continues to grapple with the consequences of insecurity especially in the northern part of the country, there have been recent calls by both the National Assembly and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on the need for the Federal Government to declare bandits as terrorists.

According to them, this would enable the Nigerian military to confront them without being sanctioned by the international community.

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Rather than heeding their counsel, the Buhari’s administration had, in several fora, tried to explain away the calls and hinged excuses on due processes.

Last week, the Nigerian Minister of Defence Bashir Magashi told newsmen in Enugu that the need to follow due process was responsible for the delay in declaring bandits as terrorists.

“We are not declaring them terrorists because there is a procedure for doing that. When the procedure is followed, they will be classified as terrorists. We are waiting for the procedure to be completed.”

In a media chat last month, the controversial Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said bandits were mere criminals.

Unlike members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that were outlawed and declared terrorists by the Buhari administration in 2017 for asking for their rights to self-determination as contained in the United Nations Charter, Mohammed said bandits, who had taken over several communities in the North-West of the country, believed in the sovereignty and unity of Nigeria.

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