KADUNA State Government Nasir El-Rufai says his state has always urged the Federal Government to declare all bandits as terrorists as far back as 2017.
El-Rufai stated this while receiving the state’s third quarter security report from the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan at the government house on Wednesday.
He said that declaring the bandits as terrorists would enable security forces to utterly decimate them without fear of being sanctioned by the international community.
“We in the Kaduna State government has always urged for the declaration of bandits as insurgents and terrorists,” he said.
“We have written letters to the Federal Government since 2017 asking for this declaration because it is this declaration that will allow the Nigerian military to attack and kill these bandits without any major consequences in the international law.”
While expressing his support for the recent calls by both chambers of the National Assembly on President Muhammadu to officially label the marauders and killers as terrorists, El-Rufai said the state would follow up with a letter of support to the Federal Government.
He also noted that the recruitment of 1,000 youths each across the 774 local government areas of the country would deal a deadly blow on bandits and other criminal elements in the land.
It has been revealed that the Nigerian Air Force cannot use the newly acquired Super Tucano jets to fight bandits because of an underlying agreement between the United States and the Nigerian government.
According to The Punch, the military said the US government told the Nigerian authorities that the jets would only be deployed against terrorists and not bandits.
The agreement was what propelled the recent calls by the National Assembly to designate bandits as terrorists.
The possibility of declaring bandits by the Buhari’s administration is not guaranteed because agents of the government are already explaining away that possibility.
In a media chat earlier this week, the controversial Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture 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.