Why Buhari must declare bandits as terrorists –Afenifere

Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare bandits as terrorists and stop treating them with levity.

According to the Pa Ayo Adebanjo-led group, until the President take firm action against bandits and kidnappers, the security challenges in Nigeria won’t be solved.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on November 26 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 but the Buhari regime has not done so one month after.

Whereas in the case of the Indigenous People of Biafra, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), was able to gazette the designation of the Indigenous People of Biafra as terrorists on the same day that Justice Abdu Kafarati gave the order on September 20, 2017.

Afenifere, in a statement on Friday, lamented that the kidnapping, insurgency and other security threats in the country are assuming a warlike situation that required recalling retired intelligent retired officers to complement the efforts of existing security organs to halt the war.

The statement was titled, ‘Nigeria in war situation over insecurity: Afenifere calls on President Buhari to recall retired soldiers and seek help’. It was signed by the group’s spokesman, Jare Ajayi.

The group also said, “It is disheartening that terrorists had the temerity to launch attacks near Maiduguri on Thursday, December 23, 2021, around the time the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, was visiting Maiduguri and parts of Borno State.

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“Apart from the bomb blast that happened in Maiduguri, the Nigeria Immigration Services, also revealed in a letter to its border posts dated December 23, 2021, that terrorists from Mali plan to attack Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

“The above are aside kidnapping, killing, arson and burning of vehicles conveying people from one place to another as happened on Kaduna highway and in Borno and Katsina States etc. recently. The near-daily occurrence of kidnapping in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Imo States among others is intolerable.”

According to Afenifere, the President must come out openly to give an ultimatum of two weeks to those carrying arms illegally to lay down their arms.

“Within the period, retired intelligent officers be encouraged to report at the military formations nearest to them with a view to reintegrating them back into the system. Needed weapons and incentives must be provided just as the intelligence units within the security organs be rejigged to weed out the fifth columnists in the army.

“This, it can do successfully, by stopping to treat bandits and terrorists with kid gloves, by genuinely providing needed equipment to the army and other security agencies, by truly engaging the youths into ventures that would earn them a livelihood, by no longer treating some bandits and terrorists as sacred cows and by liberalizing the economy in such a way that the cost of commodities and services in the country would come down considerably,” the statement added.

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